ORLANDO, Fla. – The judge, prosecution and defense questioned hundreds of potential jurors, narrowing the pool to 60 Friday for the trial of Markeith Loyd.
Loyd is currently serving a life in prison sentence without parole for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend in 2016. Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton was in pursuit of Loyd, as he was on the run from the law, when he allegedly shot and killed her during a confrontation outside a Walmart in 2017.
In this latest trial for Clayton, the death penalty is on the table. The final round of jury selection will take place Monday.
“A person is considered to be insane when he had a mental infirmity disease or defect and, because of this condition, he did not know what he was doing or the consequences,” Judge Leticia Marques said, making clear to jurors the definition of insanity, the argument being used in Loyd’s defense. “It’s the defense’s burden to prove it by clearing convincing evidence.”
A motion hearing followed jury selection, and Loyd asked the judge if he could represent himself during this trial. A request he made during the first trial.
“I want to represent myself because things aren’t being done, and it’s my life on the line,” Loyd said.
The judge denied Loyd’s request, saying it didn’t work out during his first trial, when she had granted his request. Marques said he would be unable to effectively represent himself while he’s in jail, but he would be allowed to actively participate in the trial.
“We’ve been through this before ... you struggled, then I appointed you counsel,” Marques said. “I let you represent yourself, and then you told me you could not represent yourself.”
The prosecution said they want to use Loyd’s social media posts against him in this trial; bringing up comments he allegedly posted about police officers and judges dating back to 2014.
The judge said she would review the posts and rule on the motions Monday.
Both the prosecution and defense asked the judge whether or not they could bring up facts and evidence from Loyd’s previous case. The prosecution wanting to demonstrate the bullets used to kill Loyd’s ex-girlfriend are of the same weapon used in the shooting death of Clayton.
Marques said she would allow some of the facts from the previous case to be used if they’re directly connected to the crime alleged for this trial.
Court will resume Monday at 9 a.m. when the potential 60 jurors will be narrowed to the 16 needed for the trial.