ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The mother of convicted cop killer Markeith Loyd testified in the penalty phase of her son’s trial Friday, as jurors considered whether to recommend he get life in prison or the death penalty.
The jury considering the sentence is the same one that found Loyd guilty of killing Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton in November.
What You Need To Know
- The penalty phase in Markeith Loyd’s murder trial went into its fifth day Friday
- Loyd, convicted of killing an Orlando cop, will be sentenced to either life behind bars or death
- His mother, Patricia Loyd, praised him Friday for previous acts of kindness
- On Thursday, a psychologist testified that Loyd has PTSD
Patricia Loyd praised her son for acts of kindness, including one incident involving a stranger on the street.
“Markeith was driving down the street and somebody was walking barefoot, so he stopped his car and he gave them his shoes,” she said.
But she also described dark times in Loyd’s upbringing, including incidents when she would use several items like extension cords, belts and switches to beat Markeith when he was a boy.
And his mother recalled seeing Loyd’s injuries after he was kidnapped and beaten up in the neighborhood as a teenager.
“Everything was shifted, his face was shifted like his ear was here, which is awful,” said Loyd.
On Thursday, there was testimony from a psychologist who said Loyd suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from that incident, and others.
“Mr. Loyd, you know, experiencing hypervigilance and increased arousal at all times — or most of the time — was in an on-guard survival mentality,” said Dr. James Campbell on the stand.
Campbell said Loyd believed police were trying to kill him.
Campbell wasn't the only expert to testify that those childhood beatings led to Loyd's PTSD, and they testified that’s a major factor in how Loyd reacts to situations. One of those experts, psychologist Marvin Dunn, said after evaluating Loyd he thought it was clear traumatic experiences throughout his life affected his behavior.
“It suggests the person has a well of emotions inside that have not come out, it does not mean that they’re not there," Dunn said. "I don’t cry — that doesn’t mean you don’t feel — and it doesn’t mean you don’t eventually act on whatever it was that caused that pain."
With Loyd already serving life in prison for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, his defense attorneys are hoping jurors will spare his life and recommend life in prison — not the death penalty — as his sentence.
“Knowing that he’ll never get out, you’re still going to be the mother that you have been?” asked Terence Lenamon, Loyd’s defense attorney.
“Until God take the breath out of my body,” said Patricia Loyd.
The jury is expected to get the case to deliberate and decide Loyd’s recommended sentence by the middle of next week. Jurors must be unanimous in order to recommend the death penalty for Loyd.