ORLANDO, Fla. — The judge presiding over the Markeith Loyd murder trial will not recuse himself.
- Chief Judge Fred Lauten refuses to recuse himself from Loyd case
- Defense attorneys: Lauten is too close to the case
- Lauten signed several warrants during Loyd's manhunt, including his arrest
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Chief Judge Fred Lauten denied a request for recusal from the defense Monday afternoon.
Attorneys for Loyd question Lauten's ability to preside over the trial fairly because he signed several warrants during the search for Loyd, including his arrest warrant.
Lauten found the request legally insufficient.
Markeith Loyd is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon in 2016. The trial Lauten is presiding over is for Dixon's death.
In January of 2017, Loyd was arrested for the death of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton, who police say spotted Loyd at a Walmart and tried to confront him.
During a hearing last month, attorneys asked Lauten how he got assigned the case, considering his closeness to it.
Lauten said that as a chief judge he has a smaller docket of cases, which allowed him to take on a case of this significance compared to a regular judge with a full caseload.