Jury deliberations in Markeith Loyd murder trial to pick up Wednesday morning

Loyd accused of fatally shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton

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.

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?”

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Markeith Loyd takes the stand in his own 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.

Live video of the murder trial and coverage from News 6 reporter Nadeen Yanes are linked below.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.