Markeith Loyd's attorney wants judge to recuse himself from case

The chief judge on Markeith Loyd's case will have to decide if he will remove himself from the case after handling it for almost 2 years.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Attorneys filed a motion Friday requesting Chief Judge Fred Lauten to recuse himself from Markeith Loyd's case.

Loyd's attorneys said they filed the motion because Lauten signed several warrants during the time Loyd was at large, including his arrest warrant.

Loyd is accused of fatally shooting Sade Dixon, his pregnant ex-girlfriend, and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.

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Earlier this month, Terence Lenamon, Loyd's attorney, asked Lauten to place a stay on court proceedings while he determined how much involvement Lauten had in the case before Loyd's arrest and how Lauten was assigned to the case.

"Judge, I need you to back away from this case and provide me the information I am requesting so I can make a determination whether or not we can raise, in good faith, a motion to recuse," Lenamon said earlier this month.

Lauten denied the motion.

He said last month that he volunteered to take on the case because his caseload was less than that of the judge to whom it was assigned.

"It was done for efficiency," Lauten said.

Loyd's attorneys filed a motion this week, saying Lauten signed six search warrants and authorized wiretaps of phones used by Loyd and others while Loyd was at large.

Lenamon said the issue was raised now because he recently learned of the wiretaps. %

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"It is unclear if the court, during the period of wiretap warrants, had access to Mr. Loyd's statements," he said in the motion.

Lenamon said he also has concerns about how Lauten handled Loyd's arraignment and other hearings.

Loyd has said he wanted to represent himself and attorneys argued that there was a court concern about his mental state.

Lenamon argued it took too long for Lauten to assign standby counsel.

A hearing on the motion has not yet been scheduled.