Jury recommends life in prison for Markeith Loyd

Florida

Markeith Loyd, suspected of fatally shooting a Florida police officer, attends a court appearance, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, at the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Fla. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP, Pool)

After just an hour of deliberation a jury recommended that Markeith Loyd be sentenced to life in prison for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

Moments after the jury made the recommendation, Circuit Judge Leticia Marques handed down the sentence of life in prison.

Loyd was convicted last week in the slaying of Dixon. He is also accused of fatally shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton and will go on trial in that case later.

Loyd faced the possibility of execution for the murder, but jurors found the aggravators offered by prosecutors was not sufficient for death penalty.

Those factors were that Loyd was on probation, and that he’d previously been convicted of a violent felony.

Closing arguments in the sentencing phase were made Wednesday after two days of testimony.

After closing arguments were made and the jury began deliberations, Loyd told the judge he does not want to be in the courtroom when the verdict returns. He was taken out of the courtroom and will be returned to Orange County Jail.

During the penalty phase, Loyd’s defense has called a number of his family members to testify.

Loyd’s daughter took the stand Tuesday and said she had a loving father.

Kianna Loyd talked about how Loyd expressed regret that he couldn’t be more present when it came to raising her, because of his time in prison, but says he did what he could.

Loyd’s family told jurors that he always took care of everyone, often using money he made by selling drugs. They said that a life of crime, violence and trauma changed him.

Prosecutors are focusing on aggravators like previous felony convictions.

The case could go to the jury Wednesday.

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