Markeith Loyd to use mental health defense for Orlando police officer's murder trial

'We're going to have to tell the truth,' Lody's attorney says

ORLANDO, Fla. – Markeith Loyd's defense attorney, Terry Lenamon, said he doesn't rule out using insanity as a defense when Loyd is tried for the murder of an Orlando police officer next year.

Loyd was sentenced to five consecutive life terms in prison on Wednesday for the murders of his ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and her unborn child in December of 2016.

He's also accused of gunning down Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January of 2017 while he was on the run from police.

"I don’t think there’s any question that he’s the one who shot (Lieutenant) Clayton," Lenamon said. "That’s not really the issue."

Lenamon said he plans to, once again, show his client suffered from life events and evolved into mental illness.

"We’re going to have to tell the truth. The truth of this case is going to be part of the mitigating factors of a defense," he said. "He’s got mental health disorders. They’re significant."

During the trial and sentencing phases for Loyd in Sade Dixon's murder, Lenamon cited traumatic life events, such as kidnapping, robbery and beatings that Loyd endured in his younger years.

On the stand, he presented psychological experts who offered opinions that Loyd suffered from mental health issues.

Prosecutors tried to debunk that with their own expert witness testifying that Loyd did not suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

Lenamon said Loyd's trial for the death of Clayton should begin in May of 2020.


About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.