Jury recommends life in prison for Markeith Loyd as he awaits 2020 trial in OPD officer's slaying

ORLANDO, Fla. — The jury took less than an hour to recommend life in prison for Markeith Loyd in the slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, in 2016.

Loyd is also accused of killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton while he was on the run for the murder of Dixon. That case is scheduled to go to trial in May 2020.

"Over my objection, a focal point of this case became Sgt. Clayton and the shooting that was involved with her," said Loyd's lawyer, Terence Lenamon. "So the jury knew about that, but they didn't really know what to do with it until they were told what to do with it."

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said he was disappointed with the sentence because he thought Loyd should have received the death penalty, however he thinks the outcome will be different in the trial for the murder of Clayton.

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"Based on the evidence I've seen, I do believe there will be a different outcome," said Mina. "But again, you never know with a jury."

It is believed that Loyd's defense may try to invoke insanity in the case, citing Loyd's mental health. Several doctors took the stand earlier in the week to testify on Loyd's behalf.

Channel 9 legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the insanity defense would be a tough one to sell and that, if it was viable, it would have been used in the Dixon case.

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The strategy may be a tough one as officials said the shooting was caught on surveillance video in the Walmart parking lot. Law enforcement officials said it shows Loyd and Clayton exchanging gunfire, with Loyd later standing over the body of Clayton and executing her.

Loyd's attorney has already said he'd take a plea deal for another life sentence if the state would make that option available.

The death penalty may be tough to come by, as no Central Florida juries have reached that verdict since the Florida Supreme Court decided a unanimous vote was the only way for it to be carried out.

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