Michael Drejka, the Florida man serving a 20-year-sentence for shooting a Black man dead outside a Clearwater convenience store, is recovering after reportedly being roughed up in jail.
Florida Department of Corrections officials said Drejka, 49, got in a physical altercation with another inmate Tuesday afternoon, FOX 13 News reported. Drejka’s lawyer Bryant Camareno described the incident as an “attack” and said his client suffered a head injury.
He was examined by medical staff and will remain in protective custody pending an investigation.
“No one deserves to be treated like that,” Camareno told the outlet. “The Constitution demands inmates be protected and so we’re not necessarily pointing the fingers at anyone just yet. But it’s very important all inmates, regardless of what they’ve been convicted of, be protected.”
“They’re afforded that right: freedom from cruel and unusual punishment,” he added.
According to local reports, Drejka’s wife told attorneys that her husband is living in fear and believes he was targeted. An inmate reportedly placed a lock in a sock and beat him with it, leaving Drejka with a gash that required stitches.
“They apparently attacked him with that,” Camareno told NBC Miami. “We’re all concerned, myself, Mr. Trevena, the rest of the defense team.”
The Florida man was convicted of manslaughter last year in the July 2018 shooting that killed Markeis McGlockton, 28. The men exchanged words after Drejka berated McGlockton’s girlfriend for pulling into the handicap- accessible parking space at a gas station.
Surveillance video from the incident showed McGlockton shove Drejka to the ground after exiting the convenience store with his young son to find the strange man harassing his significant other. Moments later, Drejka draws his gun and shot McGlockton from the ground as the Black man retreated.
“The defendant’s weakness, his cowardice and his anger … are the reasons Markeis is dead,” the victim’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, testified at Drejka’s trial last year. “Think about raising four children alone without their daddy. Without Markeis my world can never be whole again.”
The Pinellas County sheriff initially refused to arrest Drejka at all, citing the state’s stand your ground laws as justification for the shooting. Weeks later, charges would be handed against Drejka by the state attorney office.
Drejka tried painting the incident as a case of self-defense citing Florida’s controversial “stand your ground law,” which allows citizens to respond to threats with lethal force without fear of prosecution.
Additionally, he told investigators that he has a “pet peeve” about vehicles parked in handicap spots without the proper permit and spends his time checking cars for the required stickers and placards.
Drejka remains jailed at the Lancaster Correctional Institution in Trenton, Florida.
Watch more in the clip below.