For better and worse, most criminal defendants sit in the passenger seat and let an attorney do the driving. Not Markeith Loyd, 44. He’s maintained a vocal presence in the courtroom ever since his first appearance in the alleged murders of pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon, 24, and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton, 42. That didn’t change on Wednesday. After jurors left to deliberate over the Dixon case, the defendant complained to the judge about his lawyer not doing certain things.
Prosecutors said Loyd shot his ex eight times, and also attempted to kill her brother. This was premeditated murder, they argued.
The defendant said the team didn’t sufficiently go over his, Dixon’s, and her sibling’s positioning during the incident. He cast skepticism on the timing of when he allegedly shot Dixon’s brother; he asserted that this witness’ story about the incident was made up.
This was a pretty awkward moment. Judge Leticia Marques chastised him when Loyd addressed spectators in court, and told him to keep his comments concise.
“Do not talk over me. Stop,” she said. “You address me. All I need to know is short, succinct subject matters on what you wanted them to argue. This is not an opportunity for you to testify.”
Marques asked defense lawyer Terence Lenamon if his closing argument was based on a strategic decision. The lawyer said he argued based on the evidence, and acknowledged that he was told he might’ve accidentally said his client was “guilty.”
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) October 16, 2019
Loyd had multiple outbursts in and out of court leading up to the Dixon trial. The defendant was on the run in the days after killing Dixon, police said. He fatally shot Clayton at a Walmart, and he was later apprehended by cops. As seen on video, the arresting officers struck him after he crawled out to them on his belly. He lost his left eye as a result. A state prosecutor determined these authorities were justified in this use of force.
Loyd insisted during trial that he was the victim amid the death of his ex-girlfriend.
#MarkeithLoyd – Prosecutor Ridgway ends the cross-examination with this:
Ridgway: None of this is your fault?
Ridgway: In fact, you’re really the victim here today, aren’t you?
Loyd: Of course I am
Ridgway: No further questions pic.twitter.com/0MCYoERqOo
— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) October 15, 2019
With jurors deliberating as of Wednesday afternoon, it remains to be seen if and how the defendant’s complaints would factor into an appeal. Prosecutors said Loyd was “determined” to kill his ex, and that he shot her and her brother when they were fleeing.
Loyd is set to stand trial in Clayton’s alleged murder starting in May 2020.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]