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Markeith Loyd found guilty of killing pregnant ex-girlfriend

Jury deliberated for more than 4 hours

ORLANDO, Fla. – It took a jury less than five hours Wednesday to find Markeith Loyd guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

The jury began deliberating at about 1 p.m. after hearing closing arguments from Assistant State Attorney Rich Buxman and defense attorney Terry Lenamon. The jurors returned with a guilty verdict at about 5:30 p.m.

[READ: How the hunt and capture of Markeith Loyd unfolded'He was aiming for my heart': Victim's brother testifies in Markeith Loyd murder trial]

During the trial, jurors listened to testimony about how Loyd went to Dixon's family's home on Dec. 13, 2016 to confront her about problems stemming from their recent breakup.

It was during the argument that Loyd shot Dixon and her brother multiple times.

During a courtroom reenactment of the fatal run-in, Loyd said he shot in self-defense because Dixon was armed and her brother, Ronald Stuart, attacked him.

Loyd was found guilty of first-degree murder, killing of an unborn child, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted felony murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Loyd did not display any emotion when the verdict was read, but did appear to make a comment to Lenamon at one point.

Dixon's mother, Stephanie Dixon-Daniels, said she's thrilled that her daughter's killer will be punished for his crime.

"I'm happy, very happy ... I'm ecstatic. I'm in tears of joy. My daughter got her justice," Dixon-Daniels said.

[READ: Sade Dixon accused Markeith Loyd of abuse before her death, family saysPolice: Markeith Loyd used same gun to kill ex-girlfriend, Orlando officer]

The penalty phase of the trial will begin Monday at 9 a.m. The jury will remain sequestered until then.

Loyd is facing the death penalty.

"I think the death penalty is the wrong message we are sending in society, and I'm hopeful that this jury will give him life," Lenamon said after the verdict was read on Wednesday.

The trial began Friday with testimony from Stuart, witnesses and law enforcement officers. The state rested on Monday, which was the third day of the trial.

VERDICT REACHED: The jury has reached a verdict in the Markeith Loyd trial. Read more here: https://bit.ly/2MoX5Ax

Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Loyd took the stand for hours on Tuesday as one of three witnesses the defense called. He detailed the problems in his relationship with Dixon, spoke of his criminal history and mentioned receiving signs from God on several occasions in his life.

Loyd will go on trial again next year to face charges connected to the death of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton, who was fatally shot while trying to take Loyd into custody, according to authorities.


About the Author:

Adrienne Cutway

Adrienne Cutway joined News 6's digital team in October 2016 to cover breaking news, crime and community interest stories. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and began her journalism career at the Orlando Sentinel.

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