Judge denies request he disqualify himself from Markeith Loyd trial

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

Orange County Chief Judge Frederick J. Lauten

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County Circuit Court judge on Monday denied a defense request  that he remove himself from presiding over the trial for Markeith Loyd, accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and then an Orlando police officer.

Chief Judge Frederick Lauten denied the motion filed by Loyd's attorneys last Tuesday requesting that he disqualify himself from overing the first-degree murder trial.

Loyd is accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon, who was pregnant, on Dec. 10 2017, and then on Jan. 9 killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton when she attempted to arrest him.

Loyd's lawyer, Terry Lenamon, argued that Lauten may not be able to be impartial because before being assigned to the case, he had signed off on warrants during the three-week search for Loyd.

"I need you to back away from this case and provide me the information I’m requesting so we can raise -- in good faith -- a motion to recuse," Lenamon said to Lauten in court last week.

The court found the motion legally insufficient.

Last month, Loyd's first trial was rescheduled for May, but a date was not set for his second trial.

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