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Markeith Loyd’s trial for the murder of OPD officer Debra Clayton is set to start Friday

Markeith Loyd is brought out of the Orlando Police Department in this capture from the Orlando Police Department's Twitter feed. (Courtesy Orlando Police Department)

The accused killer of Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton is set to stand trial for murder on Friday. Loyd’s attorneys had tried to get the trial delayed and moved out of Orange county

Attorneys for Loyd argued that holding the trial now could affect the jury pool because of the coronavirus pandemic, and that holding it in Orange County would be unfair because of the media attention on the case. Judge Leticia Marques denied the requests to delay or move the trial. 

Police say Markeith Loyd fatally shot Lt. Clayton in January 2017 as she tried to arrest him in a Walmart Parking lot. Police had been looking for Loyd at the time in connection with the killing of his pregnant, ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

Lt. Clayton’s killing sparked a massive manhunt which ended with Loyd’s arrest, during which he was beaten by officers and lost an eye. A state attorney’s office review of the arrest found the officers were justified in their use of force. 

Loyd was found guilty of murdering Sade Dixon in 2019 and is currently serving a life sentence. If he is convicted of the murder of Lt. Clayton he faces the death penalty. 

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About Matthew Peddie

Matt Peddie