Markeith Loyd, accused in cop-killing, gets second lawyer

By Christina Jensen and John W. Davis, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Thursday, August 03, 2017, 7:52 PM EDT

Markeith Loyd, the man charged in the slayings of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton and his pregnant ex-girlfriend, was uncharacteristically silent in court Thursday during a status hearing.

Loyd has a history of outbursts in the courtroom, and the judge advised him to talk to his attorney before speaking out.

But on Thursday Loyd failed to answer the judge's questions while his attorney requested co-counsel.

Chief Judge Frederick Lauten appointed Teodoro Marrero to be co-counsel for Loyd, joining attorney Roger Weeden.

Weeden also requested permission to hire an expert to help Markeith Loyd avoid receiving the death penalty, if he's found guilty of first-degree murder.

“That’s why I wanted to get some mitigation people on board right off the bat, Judge. I need to be focusing on the preparation of the case and the trial as well. Mitigation people can be focused on those other matters," Weeden explained.

Judge Lauten said he is considering that request.

Loyd is accused in the deadly shooting of ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon, who was nine months pregnant when she was gunned down in mid-December. Investigators think Loyd also shot Dixon's brother, Ronald Stewart, and critically injured him.

Loyd has been charged with several offenses stemming from Dixon's shooting, including two counts of first-degree homicide (which includes the unlawful killing of an unborn child), one count of attempted first-degree homicide and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.

“It’s really hard, the babies ask for their mommy," said Sade Dixon Mother, Stephanie Daniels Dixon.

“When they ask, it brings tears for everyone," she said. "We’re trying to make sure this experience goes positive and we have started her 3 Heartbeat Foundation and it’s the Sade Dixon foundation that we’re working on."

Loyd is also accused of shooting death of Lt. Clayton, who was shot during a confrontation at an Orlando Walmart in January while trying to arrest him. Loyd is facing five charges in Clayton's death.

In June, Lauten set a trial date of Sept. 10, 2018 for Dixon's case, with a pretrial hearing scheduled to begin Aug. 20.

There are some unknowns regarding the case, like where an impartial jury will be found.

“No one has really put it out there on the table, but that’s going to be can we get a jury from this locale or might we be involving citizens from elsewhere in the state who make up this jury? That’s a possibility," shared Ninth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Frederick Lauten.

In June, Lauten set a trial date of Sept. 10, 2018 for Dixon's case, with a pretrial hearing scheduled to begin Aug. 20.

A trial date for the charges he faces in Clayton’s death has not been set.

Loyd appeared in court for about 20 minutes Thursday afternoon.