ORLANDO, Fla. - The lawyer for a man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police lieutenant wants to know if law enforcement is covering up something from the night of his capture.
Investigators arrested Markeith Loyd outside an Orlando home after a nine-day manhunt. He is accused of fatally shooting Sade Dixon and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.
Despite the serious crimes of which Loyd is accused, his lawyers said they want answers about injuries he suffered the night of his arrest.
Video recorded that night shows Loyd crawling out of the home in which he was hiding toward officers, as ordered.
The camera focuses in for about five seconds as officers apprehend him. There appear to be several kicks before the camera pans away, putting the rest of the incident out of clear view.
Loyd's attorney said he filed a motion in his client's murder case, not to defend the charges, but to get more information about how Loyd lost the use of one of his eyes.
"This footage is important to establish whether there was an organized cover-up by the city of Orlando Police Department under the leadership of Chief (John) Mina," the motion said.
Attorneys have also requested to interview the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Orlando office.
"The same agency that led a manhunt which ended with (the) defendant receiving serious injuries is now investigating the very events which led to him receiving those same injuries," the motion said.
The fact-finding mission appears to be unrelated to the charges Loyd faces, but WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said it is connected.
"When your client is facing the death penalty, you leave no stone unturned," he said. "You don't know what might affect a juror, not just in the criminal phase, but the sentencing phase."
Sheaffer said the argument could help at least one juror feel sympathy for Loyd, which would be critical for his lawyers during the trial, because the jury must unanimously agree to recommend he be sentenced to death should he be convicted of the crimes with which he has been charged.
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