Orlando, FL - Cop-killer Markeith Loyd appeared in court on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and refused to enter a plea in the murder of Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton and other charges.
Instead, he interrupted Chief Judge Frederick Lauten, and claimed that “Y’all can’t do nothing to me" because he was a Sovereign Citizen.
According to The Washington Post, Loyd had never said anything about being a Sovereign Citizen to his relatives or friends prior to his latest arrest, or posted anything on Facebook about it. In his Facebook posts, he was sometimes just a boyfriend looking forward to fatherhood. In other posts, he was a 'legend' who lifted weights, had a lot of women in his life, and whose goal was to be on the TV show America's Most Wanted.
He never made it on the TV show but on December 13, 2016, he murdered his pregnant girlfriend. And on January 9, 2017, he murdered Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton who recognized him as wanted and went to apprehend him when he opened fire on her, killing her. Later that morning, Orange County Deputy First Class Norman Lewis's motorcycle was hit by a SUV while responding to assist with the hunt of Loyd.
Loyd's charges include First-Degree Murder, Attempted First-Degree Murder, Wearing a Bulletproof Vest and a Carjacking that occurred as he fled from police after murdering Lieutenant Clayton. His refusal to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty resulted in a heated exchange between Chief Judge Lauten and himself. Loyd even interrupted the Judge and told him that charges could not be brought against him.
In court, Loyd told Chief Judge Lauten that he was Markeith Loyd, that he was a person, not a corporation, that he accepted the charges, and that he wanted to use his UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) to write the charges off. Standard Sovereign Citizen language, apparently the result of a jailhouse conversion.
When Loyd appeared to be under the impression that the court was bringing charges against him, Chief Judge Lauten was swift to correct him. The Judge told Loyd that the court was not bringing charges against him but that the state of Florida, represented by the State's Attorney's Office.
Judge Lauten told Loyd that he was familiar with the language that he was using, and where it originated from. He said that it was misguided and entered a not-guilty plea on Loyd's behalf. He also acknowledged that Loyd was competent, and tried to get him to accept a public defender. Loyd would not and Judge Lauten agreed to let him represent himself, with the Public Defender's Office on stand-by. Loyd's next hearing was set for March 20, 2017.
One expert said that it is not uncommon for inmates to become Sovereign Citizens once they are behind bars, and that there is an active recruiting process that goes on. Many people including defendants have claimed Sovereign Citizen status, but the number that are true converts are few. Many believe that the U.S. government has set aside money in an account for them from the time that they are born, and that if they renounce their citizenship then they can access that account and get what they believe is theirs.
Sovereign citizens are especially dangerous to law enforcement, because they believe that law enforcement officers have no authority to arrest them, and that they can use lethal force to protect themselves from arrest.
Unfortunately for Loyd, he would do better to accept that public defender that Judge Lauten offered. Claiming Sovereign Citizen status won't have any effect on either his defense or his conviction. There is no such defense or acknowledgement of the status given to Sovereign Citizens or those who claim it.
Your day in court is coming, Markeith Loyd. Whatever you choose to say, or whatever you choose to believe, there will be justice.
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