Lt. Debra Clayton’s family, law enforcement reacts after Markeith Loyd sentenced to death

ORLANDO, Fla. — Convicted cop killer Markeith Loyd is headed to death row.

A judge handed down a death sentence on Thursday for the murder of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.

WATCH: Markeith Loyd sentenced to death in killing of Orlando police Lt Debra Clayton

Loyd was already on the run for a murder when he killed Clayton on Jan. 9, 2017, outside a Walmart on Princeton Street and Silver Star Road. He was captured nine days later after a massive manhunt.


Loyd was sentenced to life in prison for killing Sade Dixon in October 2019.

He was convicted for Clayton’s murder on Nov. 3 of last year, and a jury recommended the death penalty about a month later.

It was an emotional day for everyone inside of the courtroom.

There was tension building with members of Clayton’s family and law enforcement as they were waiting for the judge’s decision.

Loyd went on one of his infamous rants as he left the courtroom after he was sentenced.

The courthouse was filled with law enforcement officers who were there the night their friend was gunned down.

TIMELINE: Jury finds Markeith Loyd guilty of murdering Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton

Orange County Sheriff John Mina, who was the chief of the Orlando Police Department when Clayton was murdered, did not hold back.

Mina said everyone from Clayon’s family to the community as suffered, now it’s Loyd’s turn.

“Now it’s time for Markeith Loyd to suffer for 23 hours a day, in a cell, not knowing when that death sentence is going to come. But it’s going to come,” Mina said.

Both Clayton’s family and Loyd’s family sat in silence as the death sentence was imposed. A gasp from one of Clayton’s cousins was the only sound you heard after the decision.

Even Loyd was stoic as he learned his fate.

READ: Convicted cop killer Markeith Loyd involved in jailhouse altercation

After court, an always matter of fact prosecutor was choked up.

“I think the bottom line, is Clayton was a special person and I think the jurors recognized that and the verdict was on her behalf,” said prosecutor Ryan Williams.

Loyd’s family and his attorneys did not speak to the media as they left the courthouse.

However, Clayton’s family thanked everyone for the work they have put in for the last five years.

See more in the video above.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler,

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.