Markeith Loys was accused of killing his pregnant ex-wife and injuring her brother who came to her rescue on December 13th, last year. He escaped custody and was spotted on January 9th, 2017 outside a Walmart in Orlando. Sgt. Debra Clayton responded to a call that described the suspect as he was leaving the premises. Markeith Loyd refused to comply with the police officer’s orders and fatally shot Sgt. Debra Clayton as he was making his escape. Moreover, Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Norman Lewis also died on the same day in a car crash while pursuing the suspect.
In spite of the 11 charges he faces, Markeith Loyd waived his right to an attorney. On Thursday, January 26th, Judge Frederick Lauten ruled that the suspect was competent to refuse counsel and represent himself in court. Even so, the judge urged the suspect not to, as he was facing attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree murder, and killing of an unborn child by injury to the mother. If found guilty, the suspect could spend the rest of his life behind bars, or even receive the death penalty by lethal injection.
Judge Frederick Lauten said his ruling was based on whether Markeith Loyd understood the implications of waiving his right to counsel, rather than on his ability to adequately represent himself in court. The decision came only a week after the suspect was apprehended in an abandoned house in close vicinity to Sgt. Debra Clayton’s residence. Loyd wore an eye patch over his left eye and multiple bandages on his head because of the injuries he sustained as he was resisting arrest. According to official court documents, the suspect answered only basic questions including his level of education and age and refused to comment on other aspects.
Last week, on January 19th, the suspect launched into a profanity-laced tirade as he was ordered held on no bond in court. However, the judge warned him he could lose his right to waive counsel if he continues to engage in violent behavior or any other outbursts of the sort.
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