Markeith Loyd's lawyers ask if slain Orlando police lieutenant contributed to her own death

ORLANDO, Fla. — Markeith Loyd's lawyers are questioning whether an Orlando police lieutenant might have contributed to her own murder.

The latest in a flurry of defense motions ponders whether Loyd might dodge the death penalty, because of the emotional baggage surrounding his high-profile alleged murders and his run from the law.

Recent depositions revealed the potential existence of a use of force investigation dealing with Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton's decision to confront Loyd in a Walmart parking lot, which resulted in a shootout.


Loyd's lawyers accused investigators of "emotional crossover, which may have caused them to fail to scrutinize the actions of Clayton's response."

In other words, they said there was a botched investigation after Loyd was captured and Clayton was dead.

"A defense attorney has a duty to investigate every avenue of his client's defense, whether critics find those avenues distasteful or not," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said.

He said this kind of blame game could easily offend a jury and backfire on the defense.

But at this point, it is a fishing expedition, Sheaffer said.

"Even the state wants the defense to investigate every avenue of potential defense, so, years later, a case isn't reversed, because the defense failed to do so," he said.

The trial for Clayton's murder will come after the trial for the murder of Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, which is scheduled for May.

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