ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The attorney representing accused murderer Markeith Loyd has been suspended from receiving taxpayer money to represent indigent clients after a state agency accused the lawyer of submitting “excessive and concerning” legal bills, News 6 has learned.
Terence Lenamon is allowed to continue representing his current clients at the state’s expense, including Loyd, but Lenamon can no longer accept appointments on new cases after the Justice Administrative Commission, or JAC, suspended his contract with the state May 14, court records show.
JAC is responsible for processing financial invoices submitted to the state by private court-appointed attorneys who represent indigent criminal defendants.
As News 6 first reported, Lenamon has not been paid for his work on the Loyd case in nearly a year because JAC has objected to his legal bills.
Since a judge appointed Lenamon to represent Loyd in July 2018, JAC has approved nearly $185,000 in attorney fees at a rate of $100 per hour.
However, JAC has not yet approved Lenamon’s most recent invoice for $75,750 covering work he said he performed on behalf of Loyd between June and October 2020.
In a letter objecting to Lenamon’s most recent attorney fees, JAC officials told Lenamon “the number of hours billed to JAC for your court-appointed cases is excessive and concerning.”
Except for a few minor clerical errors on invoices, Lenamon insists he has accurately billed the state for the work he has done on behalf of Loyd and other indigent clients.
“I am passionately opposed to the government taking a life in the criminal justice system,” Lenamon wrote in response to JAC challenging his invoices. “The work I do weighs heavy on my conscience.”
JAC suspended Lenamon’s “Registry Contract”, effective May 11, following a meeting earlier this month during which Lenamon was given an opportunity to address the Commission.
“This action was based on the evidence and materials provided to the Commission,” JAC’s general counsel wrote in a letter formally notifying Lenamon of the immediate suspension.
The temporary suspension of Lenamon’s state contract will remain in place until JAC lifts the suspension or terminates the contract, the letter states.
Lenamon is asking the Chief Judge of Orange-Osceola Counties to approve the most recent attorney fees has submitted to JAC on behalf of Loyd.
A hearing on the matter originally scheduled for next week has been postponed, Lenamon said.