• Markeith Loyd trial: Jury seated for trial of man accused of killing pregnant ex-girlfriend

    By: Kelly Healey , Sarah Wilson


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A jury was seated Thursday afternoon for the first murder trial of Markeith Loyd, who is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police lieutenant.


    Prosecutors said Loyd killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade 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. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin Friday.


    (Watch Loyd's arrest below)


    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.


    The final jury, and four alternates, is made up of 12 women and four men. After they were sworn in Thursday afternoon, the jury members were taken to a hotel. They will be sequestered through the end of the trial.


    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. 


    "The bottom line is they're there to try the case based upon the evidence," said Sheaffer.


    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.


    "I see that either you or a member of your family has been a party to a lawsuit. Can you give me some general details?" 5th Circuit Assistant State Attorney Rich Buxman asked a potential juror.


    "My wife filed for bankruptcy," the potential juror replied.


    Whether or not the potential jurors felt capable of sentencing someone to death also played into the selection, with Loyd facing the death penalty if convicted.


    Fallen Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton and murder victim, Sade Dixon.
    Fallen Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton and murder victim, Sade Dixon.
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.


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