Markeith Loyd to have competency hearing next week

By Bailey Myers and John W. Davis, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017, 11:06 AM EDT

This story was last updated on: 5:50 p.m., Monday, March 20, 2017.

Accused murderer Markeith Loyd is scheduled to have a competency hearing for next week as the accused said on Monday's hearing that Gov. Rick Scott showed "extreme prejudice" for removing Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala after she announced she would not use the death penalty in his case. 

"The governor don't know nothing about my case," said Loyd. "One more thing. I want it for the record. The governonr showed extreme prejudice. He didn't even want to sit down and talk to the State Attorney. He didn't know nothing about my case."

At the beginning of the hearing, Ayala told Lauten she believes the governor overstepped his bounds in his order to remove her from the case and wants to file a motion to stay on the case. She wants to work alongside her replacement.

Newly assigned special prosecutor State Attorney Brad King, whom the governor picked to replace Ayala, countered, saying he does not believe Ayala has the right to file a motion to stay on this case, because it is outside of her jurisdiction.

On March 16, Ayala filed the case as one that would not be handled as a death penalty case. King says that filing would be irrelevant, but the judge argues it may be about timing and he will have to review the situation and will determine if Ayala will stay on.

It was expected that King would announce if the death penalty will be used in Loyd's case on Monday, but that will be held at a different time, Lauten said.

Another legal matter that was discussed was who would be able to help Loyd with his case. The Public Defenders Office said it wasn't not sure if it has conflicts of interest with defending Loyd.

However, the judge determined that the Public Defender’s office cannot represent Loyd because of a conflict of interest. In an interview with News 13, the Public Defender’s office stated that the conflict is they are or have represented five individuals who are currently on the state’s witness list for the Loyd case.

It was also discussed if an attorney from outside the Public Defenders office would represent Loyd as standby council. The office of the Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel stated it do not think it has a conflict of interest, but may.

To also delay any immediate decisions, Lauten is considering appointing an expert to assess Loyd's competency to represent himself.

Loyd chimed in, saying that he does not want a lawyer, but proper medical attention. He claims that his eye, jaw and nose are broken and he has a head injury. He claimed that he is not allowed the tie to do research for his case. 

Loyd also spoke out and said that Scott did not want to hear from Ayala about her views against the death penalty.

"Only because she was a woman or a woman of color," Loyd said to Lauten. 

Loyd is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon, trying to kill her brother and then killed Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton.

In those cases, Loyd faces the death penalty, but last week the Democratic Ayala announced she would not pursue the death sentence in this case. However, Republican Gov. Rick Scott then pulled Ayala off the case and assigned King, who is the state attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Florida, which covers Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties.

Local legal experts say this big change so early on in this case will not disrupt much.

“Usually things run about the same in most counties so this shouldn’t hold any back. The new state attorneys that are handling it should be able to fit right it and follow through on the case,” Jaya Balani, attorney with NeJame Law.

In relation to Dixon's death, Loyd is being charged with a list of felonies, including first-degree murder with a firearm, killing of an unborn child by injury to the mother and attempted first-degree murder.

Loyd is also facing five charges in the killing of Clayton. No charges have been filed against Loyd in connection with Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis, who was killed while searching for Loyd after Clayton's death. 

Meanwhile, Ayala has since filed a motion to keep Loyd's case under her jurisdiction.

"That's exactly where we are," Ayala said. "We're continuing to research this issue. I'm trying again to consider the families and what this is taking them through, however, because it is unprecedented, this type of governor's order."

However, State Attorney King made it clear he’s in charge.

“I would say that the filling of the Governor’s executive order divest Ms. Ayala of any jurisdiction to be a party in this cause. The Governor has appointed me," King said.

There will be another hearing on Tuesday, March 28, to discuss the topics that were talked about in Monday's hearing.