• Judge denies Markeith Loyd's request for Miami lawyer, sets trial date

    By: Jason Kelly , Field Sutton


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Homicide suspect Markeith Loyd appeared in court Monday morning for the first time since April.

    Loyd is accused of fatally shooting his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, in December and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January. Orlando police arrested Loyd after a nine-day manhunt.

    Prosecutors asked Orange County Chief Judge Fred Lauten for a DNA sample from Loyd. They asked that he bar any graphic photos or video depicting Clayton's death. Both motions were granted.

    Read: 'There’s more to the story,' Loyd's attorney says

    Roger Weeden, Loyd's attorney, asked the judge to allow Terence Lenamon to join Loyd's defense team because Loyd trusts the Miami-based attorney.

    Loyd has a fundamental mistrust of the justice system due to a 1996 murder case in which Loyd was charged but never prosecuted, Weeden told Lauten. He said that he can't develop an effective defense without a level of trust between Loyd and his attorneys.

    Read: New evidence released in Loyd homicide cases

    "We're talking about his Sixth Amendment right, here, to effective assistance of counsel," Weeden said.

    Lauten said Weeden brought up some good points, but he said he had some disagreements.

    "A defendant who is indigent does not have a legal right to select his attorney," Lauten said.

    Lauten also mentioned that Loyd did not get to choose his defense in the 1996 case either, and it worked out in his favor. 

    Read: Documents: Loyd was 3 inches from Clayton before fatal shot

    “I mean, to have a murder charge nolle pros'd is about as successful as you can be,” Lauten said.

    Loyd interjected by saying, “Or, because the key witness broke down in a deposition hearing. The investigator was paying him to lie on us. That’s why it was nolle pros'd.”

    The judge denied Weeden's motion.

    Lauten set Loyd's trial date for Sept. 10, 2018. Pretrial is scheduled to begin Aug. 20, 2018.

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