Coronavirus pandemic delays justice in some Central Florida high-profile criminal cases

ORLANDO, Fla. — The coronavirus pandemic is delaying justice in some of Central Florida’s highest profile criminal cases.

The sentencing of convicted Kissimmee cop killer Everett Miller and the jury trial for Markeith Loyd have been put on hold.

Miller was supposed to have a hearing starting this week, which was set to be his last chance to present evidence before the judge decides on life or death.

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Sentencing would have been next month, but now it’s up in the air after a jury recommended the death penalty for Miller last year.

Miller shot two Kissimmee police officers to death in 2017.

Miller’s case is not the only case where justice is being delayed.

The Florida Supreme Court has issued an order suspending all jury trials through April 18.

The judge in Loyd’s trial, which was set for May 1, was looking to bring in as many as 800 potential jurors on day one.

Loyd has already been convicted in the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and now must face trial in the murder of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.

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The trial may not happen until the fall due to coronavirus concerns.

One trial that could be pushed ahead of other murder trials is for Christopher Otero-Rivera.

Otero-Rivera is charged in the murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Montalvo, in Osceola County.

The Supreme Court has suspended the speedy trial rule during the pandemic, but Otero-Rivera hasn’t waived his right to a speedy trial.

Once the suspension is lifted, Otero-Rivera will have about a month before his trial.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.