Defense rests case after Markeith Loyd testifies in murder trial

Loyd spent hours testifying Monday

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The state resumed cross-examining accused double murderer Markeith Loyd on Tuesday after he spent hours on the stand on Monday.

Loyd, 44, is standing trial in connection with the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. He's also accused of fatally shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton as she tried to take him into custody, but he'll stand trial on those charges next year.

The state rested its case on Monday and then, about 2 p.m., Loyd took the stand. He testified until about 6:15 p.m. about his relationship with Dixon, the argument that led to the shooting and the circumstances of her death.

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Shortly after the state began cross-examination, proceedings were halted because a juror was feeling ill. After that, an alternate juror was dismissed because she said she couldn't remain unbiased after she heard another juror speaking with a deputy about the "stand your ground" law.

Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office confirmed they are investigating the actions of the deputy involved.

All court security deputies follow certain guidelines for sequestered juries, according to the sheriff's office.

"All deputies are to maintain a professional attitude at all times while in the presence of the jury including but not limited to, not discussing this case or any other case or subject that is the same or similar to this case or any trial testimony, or law, or any law enforcement function or procedure," according to the OCSO guidelines.

Cross-examination resumed at 10 a.m. and lasted just less than an hour before the defense rested its case.

Tuesday marks day four of a trial that was initially projected to last a week or more. Judge Leticia Marques said that closing arguments will be held Wednesday morning and the jury will begin deliberating after that.

During the trial, jurors heard from Dixon's brother, crime scene investigators, technology experts, a witness and Loyd's cousin.

Check back for more updates on this developing story.

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