Jury selection began on Friday in Markeith Loyd trial

Jury selection began on Friday in the State of Florida versus Markeith Loyd.  It is the first of two murder trial Loyd will face.  

Loyd is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, in December 2016 and Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton outside an Orlando Walmart in January 2017.  This first trial is related to the Dixon case.

RELATED: Markeith Loyd trial to move forward despite Loyd’s objections

The trial has already seen many delays, including when Loyd chose to represent himself and firing his court-appointed attorneys.  This week, the judge denied the latest motion to delay the trial. When Loyd's attorneys were handed the case 14 months ago, the judge asked if they would be ready in time. They said they would be.

Judge Leticia Marques warned that jury selection could take three to four weeks, and on Friday, she tested the waters with potential jurors.  

“Does anyone recognize Mr. Loyd?” the judge asked.  

Nine different panels of between 50 and 60 people were brought in and questioned throughout the day.
Judge Marques noted out loud, so the court reporter could make note of each potential juror who raised their hand.

Court officials tell The News Station they sent out summons to 500 people to report for jury duty in this case.  The judge will help the state and the defense whittle through those folks next week.  Then, for the next three to four Fridays, they will have another 500 potential jurors brought in for jury selection.

The actual trial is expected to last two to three weeks.  Once the jury is selected, they will be sequestered.  The judge did her best to sell potential on a few weeks away from their everyday lives. 

“You spend the night at a hotel.  You can't go home but we cook all your meals for you, not me personally, the folks at the hotel.  You get your own room. They clean your bedroom for you.,” said Judge Marques to each of the panels. 

Markeith Loyd looked a little different in court today.  He sported a button down shirt with a cardigan sweater and wore his hair down.  He opted not to wear his eye patch, revealing the lasting effects of the aftermath of his clash with police at the time of his capture.  

Before potential jurors entered the room, Loyd’s attorney, Terence Lenamon, made it clear to the judge that he’s still trying to delay the start of this trial.  

“It's my notice to the court that we will be filing our 4th motion to continue this weekend so we can have the necessary time for him to complete his evaluation,” Lenamon told the judge.

If Loyd is found guilty, he could be sentenced to death. Loyd is scheduled to be back in court to for the state’s case against him in the murder of Lt. Debra Clayton.