52ºF

Accused killer Markeith Loyd seeks attorney in murder cases

Loyd accused of shooting, killing Sade Dixon, Debra Clayton

ORLANDO, Fla. – In an about-face, Markeith Loyd, who is accused of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer, said in court Monday that he wants an attorney to represent him in his murder cases.

Chief Judge Frederick J. Lauten scheduled a hearing for April 12 to determine if he will allow Terence Lenamon to represent Loyd.

"Typically, you don’t get to pick court-appointed counsel, but I may allow it because I think you need it," Lauten said to Loyd. "I will make a definitive ruling on the 12th to see if he's your attorney."

Lenamon, of Miami, is Florida’s highest-paid capital litigation lawyer, according to the Miami Herald. He has earned $5 million over the course of 59 capital cases since 2000. The newspaper said Lenamon doesn’t shy away from the distinction, pointing out that he has kept all but two clients off Death Row, and one of those had his sentence overturned on appeal.

Lenamon was a member of Casey Anthony's defense team for a brief time. After being brought on early in Anthony's case, he left when the state announced that it would not seek the death penalty. The state later changed its stance, but Lenamon did not return to Anthony's defense team. Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee, in 2011.

[RELATED: Who is the Miami lawyer Markeith Loyd wants as his defense?]

Loyd, who was handcuffed and wearing a blue jumpsuit and a patch over his left eye, was escorted into court Monday by law enforcement officers. He smiled, waved and blew a kiss to loved ones as he left the courtroom.


In a hearing last month, a judge appointed standby counsel for Loyd, 41, and ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation because of injuries he suffered during his arrest.

Loyd argued in a four-page handwritten note filed with the court that he has the constitutional right to represent himself 

In the note, Loyd formally objected to the evaluation and raised concerns about his right to a speedy trial.

State Attorney Brad King is prosecuting Loyd after Gov. Rick Scott removed Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who said she would not pursue the death penalty against Loyd or in any case. King has not officially said if he will seek the death penalty against Loyd.

Lauten said it's possible that Lenamon will waive Loyd's right to a speedy trial.

“We have a speedy trial issue until someone waives it,” Lauten said. “I’ll be shocked if (Lenamon) says, ‘No, judge, I’m here, let’s go."

Loyd said Monday that he has motions that he wants to file to keep King from prosecuting his case.

Loyd is accused of killing Sade Dixon and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.

Loyd previously claimed that he lost his left eye during his arrest after a nine-day manhunt in the wake of Clayton's death.


About the Authors: