Juror excused in Markeith Loyd murder trial

Loyd accused of killing Sade Dixon, Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. - Prior to being dismissed for lunch Friday during Day 1 of the Markeith Loyd trial, a juror wrote a note to the judge about a potential problem.

The juror claimed a fellow juror had lied about where she worked. 

Judge Leticia Marques reviewed the information during the lunch break and brought Juror 712 into the courtroom to be questioned.

Marques asked the juror if she works at Publix, and the woman said she has been hired by the company but has not completed orientation or received a paycheck.

"Why not tell us about your situation (during the jury selection process)?" Marques asked.

"I felt like it didn't' matter," the juror said.

Marques said the state also discovered during the lunch break that the juror had been involved in a domestic violence incident as a teenager.

"Why didn't you tell us about that?" said Marques, adding that it was part of the jury questionnaire.

Markeith Loyd.

"I thought it was taken off my record," she said.

It's not known if the juror was the aggressor or victim, if anyone faced charges or there were any convictions in the case.

"Is there anything else you didn't tell us during jury selection?" Marques said.

"No," the juror replied.

Markeith Loyd defense attorney.

After holding a sidebar with the prosecution and defense, Marques said she would take the state's motion under advisement and make a ruling by Saturday morning.

When day two of Loyd's trial began Saturday morning the judge heard comments from both the state and defense on the juror in question.

The Judge ruled in the state's favor to dismiss the juror stating: "I'm concerned about the fact that this juror's answers have been consistently misleading -- whether it's intentional or not... it is misleading" 

The juror was escorted out of the courtroom by deputies and taken back to a hotel to retrieve her belongings.

 

 

Loyd is accused of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton. This trial will determine whether he's guilty of murder in Dixon's death. He will stand trial next year in Clayton's death.

If convicted, Loyd faces the death penalty.

Opening statements

Assistant State Attorney Ric Ridgeway started the trial with a near 14-minute opening statement. 

"Markeith Loyd was determined to kill Sade Dixon. He did kill her and her unborn child ... and he is guilty," Ridgeway said.

Loyd sat silent as the state depicted the night Dixon was killed. He was wearing a pink button-down shirt and a purple tie, but he was not wearing his eye patch. Loyd was blinded in one eye during his capture by Orlando police.

Defense attorney Terry Lenamon started his opening statement with an expletive.

"My brother can whip your (expletive)," said Lenamon, claiming that's what Sade Dixon said to Loyd. "And a few minutes later, Dixon's brother (Ron) attacked Markeith Loyd."

The defense said Loyd admitted to Dixon that he had slept with his ex-girlfriend. 

"She then does something really stupid," Lenamon said. "She went up the stairs to her room, to her lockbox. She opens the lockbox and takes a gun."

Lenamon said when Dixon pulled out a gun, "(Loyd) believes that in that moment, she's going to kill him."

Loyd then pulled out his two guns, the defense said.

According to Lenamon, Ron Dixon intervened and got into a fight with Loyd.

"At some point, the gun discharged and hits the brother," he said. "Since Loyd didn't know where Dixon was or the other gun, he starts shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting."

The defense said Loyd was mad because he felt Sade Dixon put him in a dire situation.

"He sent a text at 4 a.m., ‘You caused this. Angry at you and that's why I hit you,'" Lenamon said. "You are going to hear all of this from Markeith."

Jury makeup

During the jury selection process, which began Sept. 27, more than 700 potential jurors were questioned. Several of them had to be excused because they admitted they couldn't remain fair as they hear evidence about the high-profile case.

A jury of 12 women and four men was seated Thursday.

The jury will be sequestered for the duration of the trial.

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