A JURY has recommended the death penalty for a convicted killer who fatally shot a police officer.
Markeith Loyd, 45, is accused of fatally shooting Debra Clayton outside of a Walmart store in January 2017 as she tried to arrest him for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, weeks earlier.
Clayton’s shooting led to a massive manhunt for Loyd. Orlando police officers found him in an abandoned house and beat him during his arrest, court records show. He lost an eye in the beating.
The officers were later cleared by an internal investigation and an investigation by the state attorney’s office, records show.
Loyd pleaded not guilty, before testifying that he shot Clayton in self-defense.
He added that he did not intend to kill Dixon, according to local reports. His attorneys, however, argued that he was insane when he shot Clayton.
Loyd was convicted in Dixon’s case in 2019, and is currently serving a life sentence.
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The jury unanimously voted for Loyd to undergo the death penalty on Wednesday.
It was the same jury that convicted Loyd for murder that decided to sentence him to death.
Clayton’s cousin broke down in tears as the jurors individually all agreed that they wanted to sentence Loyd to death.
Following the verdict, Loyd said: "I waive my Spencer hearing. I want to be sentenced today. Y’all been doing all kinds of stuff all along."
He continued to say "these people been trying to kill me" before telling his family he loved them.
Following the verdict, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon released a statement, saying in part: "In the years since her death Lieutenant Clayton's loved ones and entire OPD family waited for the day when the defendant would be held accountable for his heinous crimes. He will now face the highest penalty provided by law."
Rolon went on to thank the jury for their service.
"Lt. Clayton believed in building relationships with the community. We will always remember our friend & coworker, & will do our best to live her legacy," the Orlando police department wrote on Twitter.
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