ORLANDO, Fla. – A letter Markeith Loyd recently wrote to News 6 could be used as evidence during his upcoming trial for the murder of an Orlando police officer, newly filed court records indicate.
Loyd did not explicitly confess to shooting and killing Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton in the six-page letter mailed to WKMG-TV from the Orange County Jail, where he is being held while awaiting trial.
But Loyd never denied shooting the police officer and offered possible justifications for his actions in the letter, claiming he was “in fear for his life and ready to fight fire with fire” while being sought by authorities for his ex-girlfriend’s murder.
“Never been a rabbit and always been a lion,” Loyd wrote. “I meet peace with peace and violence with violence.”
Prosecutors filed court papers Monday indicating Loyd’s letter to News 6 was considered “tangible evidence” that will be shared with his defense team as part of the discovery process.
News 6 did not provide Loyd’s letter to the state attorney’s office, but a downloadable copy of his correspondence was posted on ClickOrlando.com at the time of the story’s publication.
[WARNING: The letter below contains graphic language]
The court filing does not indicate how prosecutors might use the letter if it is formally admitted as evidence during Loyd’s trial.
In the same filing, prosecutors indicated they would provide Loyd’s attorney with copies of the Orlando Police Department’s internal affairs investigation into Loyd’s arrest and a “Brady Alert List”, recently published by State Attorney Aramis Ayala, identifying police officers with credibility issues.
If convicted of murdering the police officer, Loyd could potentially face the death penalty.
Loyd’s trial for Clayton’s murder was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and has not been re-scheduled.