Cop-Killer's Trial In Question Because State Can't Afford To Defend Him
Orlando, FL – The attorney for a gunman accused of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police sergeant said the state has run out of funding to pay for the murderer’s defense.
Attorney Terrance Lenamon recently told the court that, without more money from the state, the experts hired to testify on behalf of Markeith Loyd may not get paid, and that the nonpayment would violate state law, WFTV reported.
According to a motion filed by Lenamon, the Florida Justice Administrative Commission is in the midst of a $16.4 million deficit that could hinder Loyd’s defense.
It was the latest in a series of requests Lenamon has made that have resulted in Loyd’s trial dates to be pushed further and further out.
Loyd, 41, was originally scheduled to go to trial on September for gunning down his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, on Dec. 13, 2016, WKMG reported.
Loyd went on the run after Dixon’s murder, but surfaced again on Jan. 9, 2017, at a Walmart store.
A citizen recognized him as the subject of a manhunt, and alerted Orlando Police Department Master Sergeant Debra Clayton.
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.
Loyd fled the scene, but was spotted a short while later by an Orange County Sheriff’s Captain Joe Carter, WKMG reported.
The gunman fired two rounds at Capt. Carter’s unmarked patrol vehicle before he fled the scene again.
Capt. Carter was not injured during the attack.
Loyd then carjacked a man at gunpoint and fled the area, leading to a nine-day manhunt.
He was ultimately apprehended at a Carver Shores residence on Jan. 17, 2017, WKMG reported.
According to police, Loyd was wearing body armor and had two guns at the time of his arrest.
Sgt. Clayton’s fellow officers used her handcuffs to take him into custody.
Chief Judge Fred Lauten has expressed some frustration regarding the repeated delays by defense, WFTV reported.
"Let me share something with the court so the court is not surprised,” Lenamon told Lauten in August. “It is unlikely I will ever agree to any deadlines until I am confident I am prepared.”
"Let me share this with you," the judge interjected. "You don't have to agree to my deadlines. It's not like if you don't agree to it that the case won't move forward.”
Loyd is now scheduled to go to trial for Dixon’s murder in May of 2019.
The trial date for Sgt. Clayton’s murder has not been set.