Suspected Orlando cop killer Markeith Loyd competent to represent himself
Loyd accused of killing Lt. Debra Clayton, Sade Dixon
ORLANDO, Fla. – A judge determined Thursday that Markeith Loyd, who is suspected of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer, is competent to represent himself, although no decision has been made.
Loyd, who faces multiple charges, including two counts of first-degree murder and resisting arrest without violence, appeared at a determination of counsel hearing.
Loyd, 41, told a judge last week that he plans to represent himself, but he was uncertain on Thursday.
Circuit Judge Frederick J. Lauten asked Loyd about his plans.
"I don't know," said Loyd, who was handcuffed and had a bandage over his left eye.
He refused to answer most of Lauten's questions.
Loyd appeared before a judge Wednesday in connection with a resisting arrest without violence charge and cursed at a judge, similar to outbursts made last week.
"I'm not going to curse at you," Lauten said at the beginning of Thursday's proceedings, asking the same of Loyd.
As Lauten tried to determine Loyd's decision about his representation, Loyd attempted to give an explanation.
"I don't know. Since I've been beaten, they (have not) let me talk to nobody. I haven't talked to my family, haven't had a phone call, I only took one shower. I haven't done (expletive)," Loyd said. "They beat me in my eye with a pistol, with a gun. They knocked my eyeball out. I'm losing my eye. I can't open my mouth to eat. I don't know what's going on."
Lauten ordered the jail to allow Loyd to have contact with his family so he could discuss his options: hiring a private attorney, having a public defender or representing himself.
Lauten told Loyd that he'd likely be at a disadvantage without a lawyer.
"You might waive important rights," Lauten said.
Lauten asked Loyd basic legal questions, but Loyd refused to answer them.
Loyd, who said he's taking codeine for his injuries, told the judge that he has a GED and 10 years of formal school and can read and write English.
Lauten said it appeared that Loyd understood what was taking place at the hearing and issued a ruling that Loyd was competent to waive his right to counsel.
It's not known when a final decision will be made about Loyd's representation.
Loyd has not been charged in connection with the death of Orange County sheriff's Deputy Norman Lewis, who was killed in a crash during a manhunt for Loyd, who avoided capture for more than a week.
Meanwhile, Loyd's niece, Lakensha Smith Loyd, posted bond late Wednesday after it was lowered from $750,000 to $10,000. She was arrested on allegations of helping Loyd avoid capture.
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