Motion denied to remove judge in Markeith Loyd trial

Prosecutors were upset with penalty phase ruling

Prosecutors filed a motion to remove Judge Leticia Marques from the Markeith Loyd trial earlier this month.

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.

[TRENDING: Orlando leaders see promise in new ideas for Fashion Square Mall | Fill up on holiday cheer at 10 Central Florida Christmas light displays | Become a News 6 Insider]

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.

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.