Markeith Loyd has 'multiple traumatic brain injuries,' attorneys say

Officers who hit Loyd cleared by state attorney, citing 'stand your ground' law

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ORLANDO, Fla. - Markeith Loyd, charged in two shooting deaths, has suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries, according to a notice filed Wednesday by his defense attorney.

Loyd is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and then while still at-large killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.

Loyd'​​​​​​s first murder trial is set to begin with jury selection Sept. 27 and the trial for Clayton's slaying is set for May 2020. This week, Loyd's defense attorney, Terrance Lenamon, filed a series of motions, including the notice of a possible brain impairment that could delay the first trial's start. Loyd faces the death penalty if convicted.

"Loyd suffers from complex trauma as well as neurological deficits as well as multiple traumatic brain injuries as well as a disorder on the psychotic spectrum," according to the notice.

The notice doesn't say how Loyd suffered these injuries; however, when Loyd was captured and arrested on Jan. 17, 2017, he was beaten by Orlando police. The OPD later released helicopter video of the arrest showing officers kicking Loyd.

All officers were later cleared during an investigation. State Attorney Phil Archer determined the use of force was justified, citing Florida's "stand your ground" law.

According to Archer's analysis, four Orlando police officers delivered multiple blows to Loyd as he was lying face down outside a house on Lescott Lane, where he had been hiding. Those blows included kicks to the face and muzzle strikes with OPD rifles to Loyd's body, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement review.

Lenamon wrote in a motion filed Thursday asking for a delay that Archer's investigation shows bias, along with multiple statements made by FDLE investigators during the use of force investigation.

[RELATED: Body camera shows night Markeith Loyd taken to police HQ | Here's what to expect from the prosecution during the Markeith Loyd trial]

Loyd also filed a motion asking for Judge Leticia Marques to be removed from overseeing his cases. According to the motion, after hearing testimony from a doctor about Loyd's tumultuous relationship with his father Marques ordered Loyd not to have communication with his father. The doctor stated that Loyd was exposed to emotional abuse and drug use by his father.

"You can't call him; you can't go visit him; you can't write him letters; you can't see him," Marques said, according to transcripts

Loyd's defense claims that by prohibiting Loyd from having contact with his father it shows Marques has prejudged Loyd and is developing a bias against him.

"The Court clearly formed a highly negative impression of Defendant, so much so that the Court deemed it necessary to repeatedly ensure that Defendant's son would have no contact with him.​​" according to the motion.

The defense also filed a motion to exclude information that when Loyd was arrested he was in the possession of two firearms and a bulletproof vest. According to the motion, these weapons were not used during the shooting of Clayton and should be admissible.

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