PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The attorneys who will now be representing accused killer Michael Drejka addressed questions from the media Wednesday after officially filing paperwork to represent their new client as he faces manslaughter charges in the death of Markeis McGlockton.
- Michael Drejka arrested, charged on Aug. 13
- Drejka originally to be represented by public defender
- Clifton challenged defense lawyers on social media to "man up"
Lysa Clifton, John Trevena and Brent Camareno filed the official paperwork Wednesday afternoon as Drejka’s attorneys.
Trevena and Camareno said they’ve tried high profile cases and "stand your ground" cases before. That’s part of the reason why Camareno said they stepped in when Clifton wrote a Facebook post asking for local defense attorneys to step up and defend Drejka.
“I took it because Ms. Clifton asked me as a friend," Camareno said. "She indicated on Facebook, she made a post saying ‘Hey who’s gonna stand up for this guy’ and I offered to help her. And I said hey if you need the help with my experience, I’ll do it."
"Doesn’t everyone deserve the right to a defense attorney?," Clifton asked in her post. "Where’s Jose Baes when you need him? We need some qualified criminal defense attorneys with *expletive* in this town. I’d need co-counsel. I sure ain't qualified for this *expletive* show."
Camareno, in turn, got Trevena involved because they've worked together in the past.
Taking over the case
So how did Drejka contact these attorneys, and can he afford them? He told a judge in court Tuesday that he couldn’t afford an attorney and was assigned a public defender. But hours after that court hearing, Clifton said she went to visit him in jail and then took him on as a client.
On Tuesday, we asked Clifton how she reached out to Drejka.
“Just a jail visit,” she said.
Did that jail visit violate the Florida Bar Association’s solicitation rules that say attorneys can’t cold call, meet face to face or use a non-family member third party as a way to get new clients?
Today, Clifton answered "no" to that question.
“There was no solicitation,” Clifton said. When asked if someone from his family reached out to her Clifton said she had no comment.
Clifton also wanted to make it very clear, along with the other attorneys on this case, that they did not plan to take any money from any white supremacist groups, the NRA or any groups who want to give any outside influence.
Clifton initially said she was working pro bono. However, she now says they will get paid in some way. She would not provide specifics.
Drejka remains behind bars on a $100,000 bond.