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Jury Chooses Death Sentence For Cop Killer Markeith Loyd

Orlando, FL – An Orange County jury on Wednesday recommended the death penalty for convicted cop killer Markeith Loyd for the 2016 murder of Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton.

Loyd was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault with a firearm, carjacking with a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on Nov. 3, WKMG reported.

He is already serving life in prison for murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

Although the jury recommended the death penalty for Loyd, the final decision on whether to sentence the cop killer to death or life in prison will be made by Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Leticia Marques in January, WKMG reported.

After the jury’s decision was read in court and the jury was polled individually, Loyd demanded to be sentenced immediately.

“I waive my Spencer hearing. I want to be sentenced today. Y’all been doing all kinds of stuff all along,” he told the court.

“I’m ready to get sentenced today,” Loyd told the judge.

A Spencer hearing is an opportunity for defense attorneys to present additional evidence to the judge before sentencing, WKMG reported.

Marques said Loyd would be sentenced on Jan. 14 if he had waived his Spencer hearing in writing.

The defendant continued commenting from his seat, addressing some of his remarks to the courtroom audience, and the judge warned him to behave before she ultimately had him removed from the courtroom, WKMG reported.

“Let’s get him out, folks,” Marques told courtroom deputies.

Loyd told his family he loved them as he was removed from the courtroom, WKMG reported.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina released a statement after the jury’s decision was announced.

Sheriff Mina was Orlando police chief when Lt. Clayton was murdered.

The sheriff’s statement recognized the murdered hero’s sacrifice and admitted there was “some relief in knowing that we can move forward and never have to hear the name Markeith Loyd again.”

Loyd murdered Lt. Clayton while he was on the run from authorities after he killed his pregnant girlfriend, Sade Dixon, on Dec. 13, 2016.

On Jan. 9, 2017, a citizen recognized him as the subject of a manhunt, and alerted then-Orlando Police Department Master Sergeant Debra Clayton.

Loyd fatally shot the sergeant four times, execution style, when she attempted to apprehend him on Jan. 9, 2017 in a Walmart parking lot.

Sgt. Clayton, 42, radioed for backup, then confronted Loyd in the store parking lot.

Loyd opened fire, hitting her in the thigh, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The sergeant returned fire, hitting Loyd in the chest, but he was wearing a ballistic vest.

The gunman continued firing his weapon as Sgt. Clayton fell to the ground, striking her in the buttocks, stomach and neck.

According to an autopsy report, the round that entered Sgt. Clayton’s neck came from an upward angle and partially exited through her back, suggesting she was on the ground when she was shot.

On the last day of trial, Assistant State Attorney Ryan Williams said Loyd stood over the wounded officer’s body and fired the fatal shot to her neck, WESH reported.

Williams told the jury that that Loyd had planned to kill any law enforcement officers who tried to apprehend him because he was determined not to go back to jail.

The prosecutor said Loyd could have made a run for it after he shot Sgt. Clayton in the hip, but instead he made sure that he had killed her, WESH reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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