ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Markeith Loyd is on trial in Orange County facing first-degree murder charges in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon.
Prosecutors said Loyd killed Dixon in 2016, and, a month later, he shot Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton to death to avoid capture.
The current trial is only for Dixon's killing.
The judge has dismissed court for the day. The trial will resume 9 a.m. Saturday.
Ron Dixon, Sade Dixon's stepfather, is the next witness.
He described the events that happened during the shooting on Dec. 13.
The defense asked Dixon if he was aware that his daughter had a gun in the house. He said he did not know.
Defense attorney Terry Lenamon asked about bad blood over the age difference between Sade Dixon and Loyd.
Stephanie: "I called him a 40-year-old (expletive)."
Lenamon: "Anything else?"
Stephanie: "A pedophile."
Lenamon: "So you called your daughter's boyfriend a 40-year-old pedophile (expletive)."
Stephanie: "Yes, I did."
Dixon-Daniels is dismissed. Dominique Daniels is the next witness.
Daniels was asked about the events that happened during the shooting on Dec. 13.
Stephanie Dixon-Daniels, the mother of Sade Dixon, is the next witness.
Dixon-Daniels was asked about the guns that were in the house at the time of the shooting, including a 9 mm pistol and a shotgun.
Dixon-Daniels described what she saw after opening the door:
"As I'm speaking to my mom on the phone, I hear 'Pow! Pow, pow, pow!" Dixon-Daniels said.
"I saw my daughter on my right-hand side, laying, bleeding to death. And I saw my son on the left," Dixon-Daniels said.
"I kept yelling, "My baby! My baby! My baby! Ron! Ron! Ron!" Dixon-Daniels said.
Ridgway asked how many shots she heard.
"I heard three to four shots," Dixon-Daniels said.
"Sade wasn't responding at all. That's when I checked her pulse," Dixon Daniels said.
The next witness is Tracy Anderson, a court reporter in Orange County. Anderson was the court reporter during a hearing on Aug. 13.
Anderson read Loyd's words: "It wasn't my fault. Her brother know and I know. He came out. I told him we were straight. He told me we were straight. She done pulled the gun on me already. It was her fault."
The court is now on recess.
Defense attorney Terry Lenamon confronted Stewart with diagrams of the scene, including what Lenamon believes is a critical change in how Stewart described Loyd getting away.
"You show him running around the car, which is the complete opposite direction you show him running in the exhibit, isn't that right?" Lenamon said.
Stewart said he tried to separate Loyd and Dixon, but Loyd wasn't having it.
"I saw him take out the gun from his red hoodie front pocket with his right hand. He did this motion to put the bullet in the chamber, held it up, and before he did that I was like, 'It's not that serious bro,'" Stewart said.
"I heard a bang and next thing I know, I had no control over my body. It felt like someone kicked me in the stomach and I fell down. He was right at the bottom of my feet when he stopped shooting her, and he turned toward me and started shooting upwards," Stewart said. "He was aiming for my heart."
Sade Dixon's brother, Ronald Stewart, Jr., is the next witness. He was shot during the altercation in which Dixon was killed.
Ridgway asked Stewart about Loyd:
Ridgway: "Do you see him here in this courtroom?"
Ridgway: "Can you point to him and describe what he's wearing, please sir?"
Stewart: "That's him right there."
Stewart explained what happened during the moments leading up to the shooting.
"She looked really afraid. She was ducking her head down and trying to avoid him," Stewart said.
Court is back in session. Prosecutor Ric Ridgway has presented the court with evidence of the Publix worker juror's prior juvenile arrest, which she failed to disclose on her original jury questionnaire.
The judge has brought the juror in for questioning.
Judge: "Do you actually work at Publix?"
Juror: Yes, well I'm new and in training, so they put the whole thing on hold."
Judge: "And why did you not tell us that?"
Juror: "I didn't think it mattered."
Judge: "Do you remember being asked on the questionnaire whether you or a family member have been involved in a criminal case?"
Judge: "Do you remember being involved in a domestic violence incident when you were 15?
The judge has decided to reverse ruling until Saturday morning.
After a quick break, the crime scene analyst resumed testimony and described the crime scene photos that defense attorney Terry Lenamon showed to the court.
The witness was excused shortly afterward, and Judge Leticia Marques then excused the court for lunch. She briefly spoke with certain jury members before taking a break.
Marques spoke with a jury member who handed her a note about one of the other jurors, claiming the juror in question "deliberately lied" about her job.
“I don’t know how far I want to go with this. Clearly, we need to speak with her, but this is not lying about knowing the defendant or knowing about the case,” Marques said.
“My concern is, if she would lie about something as innocuous as this, would she lie about anything else?” prosecutor Ric Ridgway said.
Marques thanked the juror and excused her for lunch. Marques filed the note. The judge asked the attorneys to think about it over lunch.
"Have a good lunch. Court is in recess," Marques said.
A crime scene analyst testified on the evidence he collected at the scene the day Dixon was killed.
The analyst talked about the shell casings, projectile fragments and blood found at the scene.
“Marker 14 was another projectile fragment,” he said.
The analyst described finding Wind .40 caliber S&W cartridge casings at the scene.
“I believe there were 11 fired cartridge casings found,” he said.
The defense then cross-examined the analyst.
Lenamon talked about the topic of “human intervention.” He stated that many times before investigators arrive at crime scenes, there are “many people moving around” before investigators have a chance to collect evidence.
“You can’t say with certainty that a casing was moved around or not,” Lenamon said.
“Correct,” the analyst replied.
At about 12:13 p.m., the judge ordered the court to take a five-minute break.
Minutes after 11 a.m., the jury was brought in. Portions of the body camera videos were then shown to the jury.
“I don’t feel a pulse,” Sade Dixon’s mother is heard frantically saying in the video.
Deputy Magura is then heard telling Dixon’s mother to let her check for a pulse. Magura is heard saying she didn’t feel one.
The state called its first witness at 10:15 a.m. Andra McCarthy took the stand. She lives across the street from the Dixon household.
“I heard Sade’s mother screaming and I saw two bodies on the ground,” McCarthy said.
“(She shouted) ‘He shot my baby! He shot my child!” McCarthy said.
The prosecutor asked: “Do you remember how many gunshots you heard?”
McCarthy answered, “Four.”
Next, Orange County Deputy Rachel Magura took the stand. Magura said she was the first to arrive at the scene.
"I saw the house and there were the bodies of two people who had been injured,” Magura said. “I saw that she (Sade) had been injured and I tried to care for her.”
Ridgway asked, “Did you see a firearm anywhere within the female victim’s area?"
Magura replied, “No.”
Body camera video from Deputy Magura was shown to the judge only. The jury was removed from the courtroom as prosecutors tried to convince the judge to admit the video into evidence.
The video shows Sade's mom tearfully trying to revive her daughter.
As Loyd sat watching the video with little reaction, Marques ordered that only a portion of the video be shown to the jury.
Channel 9 reporter Field Sutton tweeted that the judge “believes the video is relevant up to the point that Dixon and Stewart's bodies are moved off the porch. After that, more prejudicial than probative, she rules.”
“We got a gun over here,” a deputy is heard saying in another body camera video from the scene of Sade Dixon’s killing.
As the video played for the judge only, Markeith Loyd leans over to his attorneys to whisper something. He then watches the video, again, with little reaction.
Marques said the second video would have to be edited in order to be shown to the jury.
“The gun location is admissible. The shell castings are admissible,” Marques said.
At about 10:49 a.m., the court took a 10-minute break while Marques thinks about the ruling of the second video.
Loyd’s attorney said Dixon had his Facebook password and logged into his account, only to find he was communicating with an ex-girlfriend.
Lenamon also described a fight between Dixon and Loyd about other women and about Loyd going to a strip club.
“She wasn’t saying nice things. She was saying, ‘You’re never going to see this baby again.’ She was using this baby to hold on to Marketih Loyd,” Lenamon said.
Lenamon said, “So, she does something really, really stupid. ‘Wait here.’ She goes upstairs to her room, opens a lockbox and takes out a gun. A gun she probably doesn’t even know how to use.”
According to Lenamon, Loyd then said, “‘What? You’re going to shoot me? You’re going to shoot me? You’ve got to be kidding. Drop the gun. Drop the gun.’”
Sade’s brother hears the commotion and goes outside, Lenamon said.
Lenamon described the conversation between Loyd and Dixon’s brother. He said Loyd decided to explain himself to Ron: “He told him, 'She’s eating meat. She’s smoking pot with my baby, and I think she’s (expletive) other guys.'”
During the arguments, Loyd opened fire. Dixon’s brother, Ronald Stewart, was shot in the stomach, and then Dixon was shot.
“He starts shooting and shooting and shooting, and then he goes to leave. And, as he’s leaving, he sees the front door come open, and he knows there are guns inside that house. So, he fires two shots at the house and leaves.”
The defense said the case isn’t a “who done it,” but the question is, “What happened?”
Lenamon ended his argument saying, “When you listen to the evidence, it will become clear to you that you have a great responsibility. You all have to measure a lot of things, use your common sense, think about who you can believe, who’s telling the truth."
The defense began its opening statements just before 9:30 a.m. Attorney Terry Lenamon opened with this statement: “’My brother can whip your ass.’ Within a few minutes of that statement, her brother attacked Markeith Loyd.”
Lenamon told the court things quickly went downhill, saying, “A gun fell from Loyd's pocket, and he fired, and he fired, and he fired. This is a tragic story that started as a love story. Not a perfect love story, but a love story.”
Lenamon said Loyd wanted a family, and that he had several older children, but “he wasn’t there for them, and with this new change in his life, he wanted a family with her.”
“As with every relationship, there were issues. She liked to smoke pot, and when she became pregnant, that wasn’t acceptable for him. She liked to eat meat and that wasn’t acceptable for him either,” Lenamon said.
Markeith Loyd sat in court with his lawyers as the judge took her seat. About three minutes into the trial, Judge Leticia Marques ordered to clear the courtroom to conduct an in-camera proceeding with the defense.
It only took a few minutes for the trial to resume.
After the jury took their seats, assistant state attorney Ric Ridgway began the prosecution’s opening statements. Ridgway described the scenario inside Dixon’s home the night she died.
Ridgway talked about the moment a verbal argument between Loyd and Dixon turned violent.
“The defendant then approached the porch, firing. He hit Sade Dixon. She fell,” Ridgway said. “Sade Dixon pronounced dead on the scene. And she was pregnant at the time.”
Ridgway closed with this statement: “The evidence in this case is going to show you Markeith Loyd was determined to kill Sade Dixon. He did kill her and her unborn child.”
Opening statements will begin Friday in the trial of accused killer Markeith Loyd.
A jury was seated Thursday, consisting of 12 women and four men.
After they were sworn in Thursday afternoon, the jury members were taken to a hotel, where they will be sequestered through the end of the trial.
- Seating a jury in the case was difficult as Thursday marked day nine of jury selection. The biggest challenge was finding people who believe they can sit on a jury and assume Loyd is innocent until proven guilty, because the case is so well-known.
- Potential jurors were screened thoroughly. Channel 9 legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the jury make-up won't make a difference when it comes time to deliver a verdict.
- Many were questioned on their stance on abortion since Dixon was pregnant when she was killed, as well as their previous interactions with police and their opinions of the court system.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.