ORLANDO, Fla. - A judge on Monday denied a motion to allow Terry Lenamon, the state's highest-paid capital litigation attorney, to be co-counsel for Markeith Loyd, who is accused of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.
At a court hearing, Judge Fredrick Lauten said the murder trials for Loyd will likely start in Sept. 20, 2018.
"Once I set a date, I'm going to be relatively firm about it because it's 12 to 15 months away," Lauten said.
A pretrial hearing is set for Aug. 20, 2018.
Loyd last appeared before Lauten in April, when the judge appointed Orlando lawyer Roger Weeden to represent Loyd.
Loyd originally requested to be represented by Lenamon, who is based out of Miami. Lauten denied his request, however, saying Loyd does not get to choose his lawyer if taxpayers are paying the bill for his defense.
Lauten also granted the state's motion to ban graphic photos depicting Clayton's death.
Lauten granted a motion for the state to take a DNA sample from Loyd.
Loyd faces several charges, including murder, in the deaths of Dixon, 24, and Clayton, 42. Loyd eluded police for more than a week before being found during a massive manhunt.
The case prompted a legal skirmish between the state attorney in Orlando and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced in March she wouldn't seek the death penalty in Loyd's case or any others. Scott responded by transferring almost two dozen death penalty cases, including Loyd's, to another prosecutor.
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