Markeith Loyd found guilty of first-degree murder in death of Florida officer


ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — Markeith Loyd has been found guilty of murder in the death of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton.

Loyd was found guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and carjacking. This sets up a death penalty sentencing hearing for Loyd.

Wednesday court activity

On Wednesday morning, prior to the verdict being read, the jury heard testimony and continued deliberating as part of Markeith Loyd’s second murder trial in the death of Clayton.

The questions the jury asked Wednesday morning suggest they are wrestling with the idea that Loyd set out to kill a police officer.

The jury came back with a list of questions Tuesday night, mainly to hear the testimony of eye-witnesses to the shooting and the medical examiner.

Those questions were centered on who fired the first shot — Loyd or Clayton?

That has been a central part of Loyd’s defense, that he did not plan to kill Clayton and that he only fired in self-defense.

Tuesday court activity

On Tuesday, the jury wrapped closing arguments in Loyd’s second murder trial in the death of Clayton.

While the jurors began deliberating Loyd’s faith, he continued to defend himself inside the courtroom Tuesday.

“They don’t know (expletive). They’re lying,” Loyd said.

“Stop cursing and what are your specific objections,” the judge replied.

“Ryan Williams sat up there and lied and said we looked at evidence,” Loyd said.

Closing arguments started with assistant state attorney Ryan Williams placing blame directly on Loyd.

Williams said Loyd intended to kill any law enforcement who got in his way because he didn’t want to go to jail for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in January 2017.

He said Loyd could have fled after he fired a shot at Clayton, hitting her in her hip after she tried to arrest him at a Walmart on Princeton Street. Instead, Williams says Loyd ran toward Clayton, stood over her body and fired what experts believe was the fatal shot to her neck.

“Debra Clayton is dead because of anger. Is dead because of hatred. She is dead because a man valued his freedom more than he valued her life,” Williams said.

Loyd’s defense claims he was insane when the shooting happened and that he was defending himself after Clayton fired at him first.

Loyd’s lawyer told jurors he had no plan to kill Clayton. During their arguments, they walked through the surveillance which the defense says shows Loyd only fired when he was being fired upon.

This comes a day after an outburst and tears by Loyd briefly halted testimony.

Loyd cried out in court, telling Clayton’s husband he wasn’t trying to kill her when he shot her outside a Walmart in 2017.

“I told you I didn’t try to kill your wife, bro,” he said.

Due to his outburst, Loyd was taken from the courtroom for a brief period of time. When he was brought back, the judge reminded him not to say anything, certainly not to address people in the courtroom.

Loyd also referenced a difficult childhood.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina, who was chief of police when Clayton was killed, says he isn’t buying that story.

“As you saw in his testimony. The guy is a jerk. He is an evil person who did anything possible he could do to get away from law enforcement,” Mina said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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