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Markeith Loyd Sentenced To Death For Murder Of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton

Orlando, FL – A judge sentenced convicted cop killer Markeith Loyd to death on Thursday 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, 2021 for killing Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton, WKMG reported.

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

An Orange County jury recommended the death penalty for Loyd, but the final decision on whether to sentence the cop killer to death or life in prison was made by Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Leticia Marques, WKMG reported.

Loyd’s attorneys have argued that their client should be given life in prison without parole instead of the death penalty because he suffered from mental health issues.

In January, defense attorneys made one final push to have Loyd declared incompetent for sentencing, WESH reported.

But after two doctors examined the convicted cop killer and determined he could understand the sentencing phase of the trial, the judge ruled that sentencing would proceed on March 3.

Marques said that despite claims Loyd was delusional, he was behaving the exact same way that he had since he was first arrested and he had already been found competent to stand trial multiple times, WKMG reported.

“The defendant has a factual understanding of the proceedings in this case. None of the experts has testified otherwise,” Marques wrote in her order. “He understands the adversary nature of the legal process. He can, if he wishes, manifest appropriate courtroom behavior and testify relevantly.”

After the judge found he could be sentenced, Loyd was involved in yet another incident involving law enforcement officers at the Orange County Jail, WESH reported.

County officials said that the officers involved in the altercation with the convicted cop killer were injured, sought medical treatment, and were recovering from their injuries.

Jail officials said the incident was under review, according to WESH.

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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