ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Markeith Loyd won’t stand trial this year in connection with the shooting death of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Judge Leticia Marques told attorneys Tuesday morning during a hearing not to expect a new trial date until next year. It’s unknown at this time when Loyd will stand trial, which was originally scheduled to happen in May before COVID-19 closed down courts.
“I can safely tell you gentlemen that you will not be in trial on this case before spring of next year. We are resuming jury trials here on Oct. 23, we’ll see how it goes,” Marques said.
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She added that she will let attorneys know when she picks a date.
“There are additional issues in Mr. Loyd’s case that make it impossible for us to try him right... its just not feasible to try him or pick a jury at this time," Marques said.
The coronavirus closure has caused “hundreds of cases” to be backed up, according to the judge. Jurors will be asked to wear clear masks when trials resume.
Loyd has already been convicted of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon during a shooting outside her home in December 2016.
Authorities said Loyd was wanted after that case and Clayton was trying to approach him at a Walmart on John Young Parkway to take him into custody when he shot her multiple times and then fled, sparking a massive manhunt.
If convicted of killing Clayton, Loyd could face the death penalty.