ORLANDO, Fla. — 1. Markeith Loyd was found guilty of five violent crimes during the first phase of his trial: two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder.
2. Loyd faces two individual death sentences, one each for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon, and her unborn baby.
3. Now that the trial has entered the penalty phase, Loyd's extensive criminal history—including time in federal prison on drug charges—is fair game for prosecutors.
4. Loyd's past is also fair game for his defense team, which will explore his life dating back to childhood for things that could soften the jury's view of the convicted killer.
5. Jurors are likely to spend more time in court deciding how to punish Loyd than they did deciding whether to convict; both sides have indicated they intend to spend more time questioning witnesses during the penalty phase.
6. The jury has only two options in this case: life in prison without the possibility of parole and the death penalty.
7. The jury does not impose any potential sentence of death. The jury makes a recommendation to the judge, who ultimately imposes the sentence.
8. The jury's recommendation for death is not the end of the process. That recommendation triggers a waiting period, followed by a final hearing in front of the judge, at which Loyd would have an opportunity to present any final evidence that his life should be spared.
9. When it's all finished, Loyd still faces a separate trial in 2020 for the murder of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton. Once again, the death penalty will be on the table.
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