ORLANDO, Fla. – The penalty phase of Markeith Loyd’s second murder trial resumed Friday as the judge and jury work to determine a punishment for Loyd following his guilty verdict in the 2017 killing of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.
Loyd was sentenced to life in prison in October 2019 when he was found guilty in the murder of Sade Dixon, his 24-year-old pregnant ex-girlfriend. He was spared the death penalty in the trial for Dixon’s killing, but he now faces it again.
Friday’s trial began with testimony from Dr. Marvin Dunn, a retired professor from the psychology department at Florida International University, who described his observations of Loyd’s psyche and background.
“He had people within his own family who criminalized him, who helped him learn how to deal drugs, how to avoid the police,” Dunn said. “He came out of a family environment that was poisoned, and what can you expect out of that except someone who gets involved in this kind of behavior?”
Pastor Jesse McCree, Loyd’s cousin, spoke about growing up around Loyd, and said that Loyd eventually distanced himself from a churchgoing lifestyle.
Patricia Loyd, Markeith Loyd’s mother, talked about how her husband Robert, Markeith’s father, had anger issues and once sent her to the hospital after hitting her in the eye.
“He got mad and turned around and slapped me, and when he slapped me, figuratively you know I thought, you know I used to see on cartoons where you see stars and different colors and stuff you know, and I just prayed, and I asked god you know please don’t let me fall out, don’t let me faint,” Patricia Loyd said. “I was holding Markeith in my arms and I know Markeith was special to him, so I threw Markeith at him.”
Markeith Loyd’s mother said she neglected her home and knew Loyd provided for the children by stealing food.
She said she admitted him to a mental health facility when Markeith Loyd was younger because she wanted him in there because of his anger and he was dealing drugs.
Clinical and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Maher said Loyd always felt like a target of bad people doing things.
The defense invited another medical expert and a detective to testify on Loyd’s behalf Thursday.
Dr. James Campbell, a licensed clinical psychologist, said that Loyd suffers from PTSD. The jury also heard from a detective who said that Loyd wasn’t taken to the hospital or treated by paramedics at the scene during his 2019 arrest even though he expressed he was in pain.