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MIAMI (AP) — The man who was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man during a parking lot dispute was attacked in prison Tuesday and has been transferred to protective custody, his lawyer said.
Michael Drejka, 49, was hit in the head with a sock that had a lock inside, defense attorney Bryant Camareno told The Associated Press. Drejka is being held at the Lancaster Correctional Institution in north Florida.
Drejka's wife told his attorneys he is now living in fear, news outlets in Tampa reported. He needed five stitches to close the wound, the reports said.
The Department of Corrections said in a news release that Drejka was examined by medical staff and the incident is being investigated.
“At this time, Drejka is in administrative confinement separate from the general population, pending protective management review,” the statement said.
Camareno said his client had the impression that he was targeted by someone.
Drejka , who is white, was convicted in August for the July 19, 2018, shooting that killed Markeis McGlockton, 28. Drejka is serving a 20-year sentence.
Drejka had confronted McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, for parking in a handicapped space while McGlockton went inside a convenience store with his 5-year-old son. Security video recorded McGlockton leaving the store and shoving Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka pulled out a handgun and shot McGlockton as he backed away. McGlockton ran inside the store, where he collapsed and died in front of his son.
The video was played multiple times for the jury of five men and a woman before they reached the verdict.
Drejka didn't testify at the trial, but a video of his interview with detectives was shown in court.
He told investigators he has a "pet peeve" about illegal parking in handicapped spots and often walks around such cars looking for handicapped stickers and placards, sometimes taking photographs. He said he often sees people illegally parked in the handicapped spot at that convenience store, but the owner doesn't do anything about it.
Drejka said he saw McGlockton's car in the handicapped spot that day, so he went to its back and front, looking for stickers, which store security video shows. He said the car's windows were tinted, so he didn't know anyone was inside.
Jacobs, who was sitting with the couple's two younger children, partially put down her window and asked what he was doing. He said he told her it was "not very polite" to park in the spot and "she took that as an affront." He said that sparked an argument that got heated, with Jacobs saying "Do I have to get my man?"
Jacobs testified that Drejka had started pointing and yelling at her. She said she cracked the window to hear what he was saying and a screaming match ensued.