Orange County

A timeline of the Markeith Loyd cases

Markeith Loyd is accused of murdering his pregnany ex-girlfriend in 2016 and an Orlando police officer in 2017. 

ORLANDO, Fla. — Editor's Note: This timeline is intended to inform you about the investigations and trials of Markeith Loyd.

December 13, 2016

24 year-old Sade Dixon and her unborn baby are shot to death outside her Pine Hills home. Dixon's brother, Ronald Stewart, is critically injured but survives. Dixon leaves behind two children.

December 14, 2016

The Orange County Sheriff's Office obtains a warrant for Dixon's ex-boyfriend, 41 year-old Markeith Loyd, named the suspect in her murder. A review of Loyd's criminal records by WFTV reveal Orange County sheriff's deputies and Orlando police arrested him 20 times between 1994 and 2016. Loyd had multiple convictions on his record, including first-degree battery.

Markeith Loyd and Sade Dixon

December 15, 2016

Markeith Loyd's niece, Lakensha Smith-Loyd, appears on WFTV, urging Loyd to turn himself into authorities. She says she saw him in his home shortly after the shooting, and he appeared shocked. She says he told her it was an accident.

January 9, 2017

Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton is shot to death outside the Walmart Supercenter on West Princeton Street in Orange County. Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Clayton knew Loyd was wanted for Dixon's murder and tried to arrest him. Loyd escapes police at the store, setting off a nine-day manhunt. Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Norm Lewis is killed in a car wreck while searching for Loyd.

January 11, 2017

Orlando police arrest several of Loyd's associates and relatives. Investigators say Zarghee Mayan, Lakensha Smith-Loyd and Jameis Slaughter are helping Loyd while he is on the run. Charges against them were later dropped, and they were not prosecuted.

January 13, 2017

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement obtains the first of several warrants allowing Loyd's burner phones to be tapped.

January 19, 2017

January 20, 2017

Loyd faces a judge for the first time as the only suspect in the murders of Sade Dixon and Lt. Debra Clayton. His behavior in court is belligerent, which would mark many of his subsequent court appearances.

February 15, 2017

Loyd is indicted in both cases.

March 1, 2017

After Loyd insists on acting as his own attorney, Chief Judge Fred Lauten appoints the public defender's office to act as standby counsel in both cases.

March 16, 2017

Newly elected Ninth Circuit State Attorney Aramis Ayala announces her intent not to seek the death penalty against anyone while she is in office, including Markeith Loyd.

March 17, 2017 

Florida Governor Rick Scott appoints Fifth Circuit State Attorney Brad King to prosecute Loyd's cases. King reverses Ayala's decision on the death penalty and files notice that his office will seek it in both cases.

April 17, 2017

Loyd changes his mind about representing himself and accepts a court-appointed attorney, Roger Weeden is named lead counsel in the cases.

August 31, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court ends a lengthy legal battle over Ayala's death penalty stance, invalidating her claim that she had free reign to eliminate the death penalty locally. The court upholds Scott's decision to replace her in Loyd's cases with an outside prosecutor who would seek the death penalty.

July 17, 2018

Weeden is deemed unqualified to take Loyd's cases to trial based on a technicality involving his previous experience trying death penalty cases. Defense attorney Terence Lenamon is named lead counsel for Loyd.

April 17, 2019

Chief Judge Lauten retires. Judge Leticia Marques takes over Loyd's cases.

September 27, 2019

October 11, 2019

Opening statements begin in the murder trial of Dixon and her unborn baby. Learn what is happening in the courtroom by clicking here. 

October 16, 2019

After deliberating for less than six hours, the jury finds Markeith Loyd guilty on all counts in the murder of Sade Dixon.

October 23, 2019

The jury recommends life in prison after convicting Markeith Loyd.

Do you have questions about this story or the trial? Email to ask them.

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