Judge denies Markeith Loyd defense motion seeking new mental health expert, delay in hearing

‘You’ve had 5 years,’ Judge Leticia Marques said

ORLANDO, Fla. – A motion filed by defense attorneys for Markeith Loyd asking to delay a hearing for the convicted killer in order to allow a mental health expert to further speak on the case has been denied.

His attorneys asked Judge Leticia Marques Friday morning to appoint a new mental health expert in the case. If the request had been granted, it would have delayed his Spencer hearing, scheduled for Jan. 14, which is an opportunity for a defendant’s lawyers to present additional evidence before a sentence is entered.

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However, the request was denied by Marques.

“This testimony is not new. It is at best an expansion on the testimony that was heard during the trial. The court heard several experts testify to delusional disorder. I heard several experts testify to the fact that he does not recognize that he is mentally ill and to the effect that that has on Mr. Lloyd’s behavior,” she said. “... you’ve had five years to get this together, folks.”

Marques then said the purpose of the Spencer hearing is to present additional testimony, not to “tell me the same thing through different experts.”

“If something happens during that Spencer hearing that indicates to the court that additional time is needed, for either side to present additional Spencer testimony, I will give you additional time and I will continue the remainder of the Spencer hearing,” she said.

Loyd, 46, was found guilty on Nov. 3 of five charges, including first-degree murder, for the shooting death of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in 2017 while he was on the run after killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December 2016. He’s already serving life in prison for the murder of Dixon.

A jury recommended the death penalty for Loyd during the penalty phase of his murder trial, though the judge still has to make a final decision of whether to sentence him to death or life in prison.

Several people testified during the penalty phase, including Markeith Loyd’s mother, who said she admitted Loyd to a mental health facility when he was younger because of anger and drug issues.

Throughout closing arguments, Loyd’s lead attorney, Terry Lenamon, once again brought up Loyd’s mental illnesses and the fact that Loyd was beaten by officers during his arrest in 2017, resulting in the loss of his left eye.

The Spencer hearing will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.