‘Please, give Markeith life:’ Jury deliberations in Markeith Loyd sentencing to continue Wednesday morning

Loyd convicted of fatally shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton

ORLANDO, Fla. – Closing arguments were presented Tuesday in the penalty phase of the Markeith Loyd murder trial and now his life is in the hands of the jury.

Loyd, 46, was convicted on Nov. 3 of murdering Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in 2017.

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Closing arguments ended Tuesday afternoon, and the case went to the jury just after 2:30 p.m.

After closing arguments, the jury will determine if Loyd should face the death penalty. He’s already serving life in prison for murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

Loyd was on the run in connection with Dixon’s death when he shot and killed Clayton, who approached him outside a Walmart in Orlando.

Tuesday started with Circuit Judge Leticia Marques telling the state and defense teams that she’s sick and unable to read instructions to the jury. Another judge was brought in to read the jury instructions, but Marques will still preside over the case.

About 40 minutes later, the state started its closing argument.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon and Orange County Sheriff John Mina, the former OPD chief, were in court Tuesday for closing arguments.

On Monday, Loyd’s daughter, Kianna, was called to stand by the defense team.

“I had, like, the best dad in the world,” she said.

Kianna Loyd also painted her father as a loving grandfather to her two young children.

“He talks to her a lot. Every time he calls, she knows that it’s him and she is smiling with no teeth. It’s just amazing to see,” Kianna Loyd said.

Loyd cried while his daughter spoke.

Kianna Loyd then discussed the reason why her father doesn’t eat meat.

“It has more to do with the fact that the animal dies and it is dead, and once you consume death, it makes it harder to live,” she said.

Later, the state then began its rebuttal argument, calling several witnesses, including Officer Jonathan Cute, who has been with Orlando police for 20 years and was part of the SWAT team when Loyd was arrested.

He testified that he thought Loyd might have had a weapon when he crawled out of the house.

Loyd was injured during his arrest, claiming he lost his eye due to the officers’ use of force.