ORLANDO, Fla. – The jury is now deliberating in the murder trial of Markeith Loyd as closing arguments came to an end Tuesday and requested to rehear several testimonies Wednesday morning.
Loyd is a convicted killer who’s accused of also fatally shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in 2017.
Loyd is accused of shooting and killing Clayton outside a Walmart in Orlando while he was on the run after killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December 2016. Loyd is currently serving life in prison without parole for the murder of Dixon.
Circuit Judge Leticia Marques started the day by reading jury instructions, which consists of 66 pages.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina was also in attendance at Tuesday’s closing arguments and told News 6 the self-defense claim offered by Loyd’s legal team was “ridiculous.”
The jury will continue deliberating at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Nearly an hour later, the state started its closing arguments.
State attorney Ryan Williams told the jury, “Lt. Clayton took her oath to serve and protect very seriously and on the morning of Jan. 9, 2017, she honored that oath. But it’s not her oath or courage why she is no longer with us. Debra Clayton is dead because of anger.”
The state wrapped up its closing arguments just before noon, and the judge placed the court in recess for lunch.
LOYD TRIAL: State wrapped up part 1 of their closing arguments. Jury is now on lunch break. After lunch, defense is up for their closing and then state gets final word. @news6wkmg https://t.co/uafVcuk41C— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 2, 2021
After the break, the defense presented its closing. When finished, the state will then have a rebuttal. The jury will then get the case.
Defense attorney Terry Lenamon told the jury during his closing argument that Clayton shot first at Loyd, who only returned fire to defend himself.
“Six seconds being fired upon, defending yourself, trying to save your life when someone is trying to kill you,” Lenamon said. “Once that gun fight is on, what does the state want to happen? For Loyd to run away with a gun pointed at him?”
LOYD TRIAL: Lenamon begins with believing Lt. Clayton fired first shot and Loyd shoots in self-defense,— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 2, 2021
"6 seconds being fired upon, defending yourself, trying to save your life when someone is trying to kill you..." @news6wkmg https://t.co/UHMrYZO9cG
At one point during the defense closing, Loyd called Lenamon over to share something with him.
It’s not known what Loyd told his attorney.
Lenamon then elaborated to the jury “Mr. Loyd’s firm belief that the white man was trying to kill him,” explaining to the jury that the evidence claims Loyd was insane and had delusions and paranoia when he shot Clayton.
After nearly two hours of closing arguments, Loyd’s defense rested their case.
The state has now wrapped up their rebuttal.
The jury officially has the case now.
LOYD TRIAL: BREAKING: The jury is now officially in deliberations in the trial of the State of Florida vs. Markeith Loyd. The attorneys are packing up the evidence to send to jury room. @news6wkmg https://t.co/esZxCYzPWP— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 2, 2021
The jury asked if the DSM-5, or the form that defense witness Dr. Toomer used to determine Loyd had several mental illnesses, was admitted as evidence and it was not.
It took jury members four and a half hours to reach the guilty verdict in Loyd’s 2019 trial, when he was convicted for the murder of Sade Dixon. Loyd also faced the death penalty in that case and it took the jury about an hour to recommend life instead of death.
The jury had a series of question for the judge, including if they could have the transcripts of witness testimony and if they can have a list of all evidence presented in the case.
The judge said they could have testimony read back.
LOYD TRIAL: I'm told from our crew inside the court Markeith Loyd also wrote a note to the judge calling for a mistrial - claiming misconduct on the prosecution re: witness testimony of Antwan Thomas (the person who state says Loyd carjacked) Judge denied the motion. @news6wkmg— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 2, 2021
The jury requested that the judge read back the testimonies from Capt. Joe Carter, of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Karen Livengood, the now-retired lead CSI investigator in Claytons’ case and Loyd himself in reference to two counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.
Marques told the jury the court cannot read those testimonies back until Wednesday.
They also want to hear the testimonies from six or seven people in reference to count one involving the shooting death of Clayton.
LOYD TRIAL: Judge is asking jury to narrow down their request on certain testimony since reading it all back can take an entire day. She is bringing the jury in to dismiss them for the night at 7pm. @news6wkmg https://t.co/kH1LfrwyoI— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 2, 2021
According to the official jury instruction given to them by the judge, “It will take approximately between both requests, 4 to 6 hours to prepare and read back the requested testimony. I’m going to direct you to return to jury room to discuss your request further ... make your request as specific as possible.”
LOYD TRIAL: Jury has narrowed down their request. Very specific to certain eye witness testimony from those who testified they saw the Lt. Clayton shooting. They have been sent home. Deliberations resume 9:30 tomorrow morning. @news6wkmg https://t.co/hruuYXTcz8— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 2, 2021
Marques said Monday that the jury will be handed the case Tuesday.
“There will be jury instructions, closing arguments and we will hand the case to the jury,” she said. “You will get the case the (Tuesday).”
[TIMELINE: How hunt, capture of Markeith Loyd unfolded]
Monday morning, while Loyd’s defense attorney was questioning a witness, Loyd looked at Clayton’s widower, who’s been attending the proceedings, and said, “I told you I didn’t mean to kill your wife, bro.”
Loyd then cried as he sat in the courtroom.
Marques later reminded Loyd that he should not address anyone in attendance at the trial.
Over the weekend, Loyd took the stand, saying he shot Clayton in self-defense.
Family members of Clayton and Loyd have been in court for the proceedings, including Tuesday. Orange County Sheriff John Mina, who was the Orlando Police Chief at the time of the shooting, was also in attendance.
LOYD TRIAL: Inside the courtroom, is Loyd's family including sister and brother who testified on his behalf.— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 2, 2021
On the other side, Lt. Clayton's husband and family who have also been here every day of trial. There are also some OPD officers here for closings as well. @news6wkmg https://t.co/h8hrhPImp4
Live video of the murder trial and coverage from News 6 reporter Nadeen Yanes are linked below.