ORLANDO, Fla. – The judge presiding over the second trial of Markeith Loyd will remain on the bench.
A motion to remove Judge Leticia Marques was denied Wednesday.
Loyd was convicted on Nov. 3 for the murder of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton. However, prosecutors wanted Marques removed from the penalty phase of the trial because she decided to allow defense attorneys to discuss use of force by law enforcement during Loyd’s arrest in 2017.
Marques’ decision was a reversal from a previous court ruling. Prosecutors said they needed more than a week to prepare for that aspect, in part because prosecutors did not question the jurors on use of force by police when they were chosen.
Prosecutors say they were frustrated by the manner in which the ruling was reached.
“While the Court has not specifically instructed Defendant’s counsel how or what to argue, it has supplied the argument for them for a second time in the same context,” the motion read. “These facts give the State a reasonable fear it cannot obtain a fair hearing on the penalty aspect of this case.”
Loyd faces the death penalty.
JUST IN: Here’s the order from Judge Leticia Marques denying the state’s motion for her to excuse herself in the #MarkeithLoyd trial. This comes after she decided last minute to allow evidence on how Loyd lost eye to be shown to jury during sentencing @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/UfxXk8TJjo— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) November 18, 2021