Trial starts for Florida man in police officer slaying

Author: The Associated Press
FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, Markeith Loyd, left, convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend in 2016, with his attorney Terence Lenamon, gestures to the gallery after being sentenced to life in prison, in Orange circuit court, in Orlando, Fla. Jury selection began Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, for the trial of Loyd, who is also accused of killing a police officer after he fatally shot his pregnant ex-girlfriend. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

Jury selection has begun for the trial of a Florida man accused of killing a police officer after he fatally shot his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Markeith Loyd, 46, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton. Loyd has already been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the killing of his former girlfriend, Sade Dixon.

Loyd again could face the death penalty if convicted in Clayton’s slaying. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that jury selection began Friday with an initial pool of 240 people. Circuit Judge Leticia Marques said once selected jurors will be sequestered at a local hotel to avoid their seeing or reading news about the case.

“When jurors get information from outside the courtroom, you are violating everyone’s right to a fair and open examination of the evidence,” Marques told potential jurors.

Prosecutors say Loyd fatally shot Clayton Jan. 9, 2017, at a Walmart while she tried to arrest him for killing Dixon a few weeks earlier.

The trial is expected to last up to three weeks.

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