In a case that drew national attention to Florida's Weapon Law on Weapons Law, a court hearing Friday night sentenced a licensed gun owner on murder charges after being deliberated for six hours after a one-week trial .
Defendant Michael Drake was charged with the murder of Marquis McGlocton at the parking lot of a convenience store in Clearwater on July 19, 2018 after arguing with a friend of McGlocton over a limited parking space. Drake claimed he fatally shot McGlocton in self-defense.
In CCTV played for jurors, McGlocton was seen exiting the store and throwing Drake on the ground. Seconds later Drake pulls a G40 .40 caliber pistol and shoots McGlocton, 28, when he turns.
FATAL PARTY OF THE REGINITES "KEEP YOUR PARTY" THE LAW OF THE DEBATE IN FLORIDA
was assaulted, "Drake's lawyer John Trevena said during his closing argument, according to the Tampa Bay Times." You may disagree with the law. But you have been sworn in to comply with the law. "
" He did what he thought he should do now, in a split second, when he was attacked. "
In addition to being a test of the law of" Save Your Land, "the case also took on racial dimensions, because Drake is white and McGlocton is black.
Violence Against Threats
Florida Legislation on Weapons Implement Your Land, which became law in 2005, established the right of gun owners to use deadly force to defend against threats, whether or not first. to withdraw. In 2017, state lawmakers revised the law to place the burden of proof on prosecutors to refute their claim on the grounds, rather than defense attorneys, to prove it.
Common law generally states that firing is justified if a reasonable person for these reasons would believe that they are in danger of death or serious injury. But it is also said that the shooter could not stir up a dispute.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri did not initially arrest Drake, saying controversial law prevented him from doing so. Three weeks passed before Pinellas-Pasco Attorney General Bernie McCabe announced that his office had formally arrested and charged Drake with murder.
Some have suggested that politics or race played a role in the sheriff's initial decision not to arrest, but Gualtieri quickly denied the allegations.
"He told the deputies he had to shoot to defend himself. These are the facts and this is the law, "Gualtieri told Fox News at the time. "Whatever you cut or cut, it was a violent push of the earth."
But civil rights activists said the sheriff's shooting and delay in arresting Drake spoke of a racist culture in the state Florida. The National Rifle Association, as well as Republican lawmakers who helped draft the law, challenged the sheriff's interpretation, and all five Democratic candidates for governor stood with Reverend Al Sharpton at a Marriage Justice rally on August 5, 2018, calling for repeal of the law.
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The McGlockton family was pleased with the verdict.
"This conviction does not bring our son back, but it does give us some sense of justice, because too often the criminal justice system fails us, allowing people who take the lives of unarmed black people to go free, as if their lives mean nothing, "said McGlotton's mother, Monica Robinson, in a statement. "We hope this conviction will be the way to go for a change in the culture of racism here in Florida."
Drake will be sentenced in October and could be sentenced to 30 years behind bars.
Ali Rafa and Fox News contributed to this Fox News report.