A Florida man suspected of fatally wounding an Orlando police officer and murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend is set to appear in court Tuesday morning in Orange County.
WFTV reports that Markeith Loyd is accused of killing 24-year-old, Sade Dixon, in December and Orlando Lt. Debra Clayton in January.
Loyd has previously stated that he prefers to represent himself in court, but a judge could decide whether he needs to be represented by an attorney.
“The best course (of action) is (that) you appoint a seasoned, stand-by counsel whether or not Markeith Loyd wants them,” WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said. “You can’t go wrong by doing that, but you sure can go wrong by not appointing stand-by counsel.”
State Attorney Aramis Ayala was removed from Loyd’s case by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. State Attorney Brad King has been tasked with prosecuting it after Ayala announced that she would not pursue the death penalty in his case or any other cases during her time as state attorney.
Ayala will appear in court Tuesday and she reportedly may try to persuade the judge to reinstate her as the prosecutor in Loyd’s case.
The judge could also determine if Loyd needs to undergo psychological evaluation.
Loyd was discovered by a team of law enforcement officers around 7 p.m. at an abandoned house in west Orlando’s Carver Shores neighborhood, ending an eight-day, multi-county manhunt that started after he allegedly gunned down Master Sgt. Debra Clayton Jan. 9.
Authorities had been looking for Loyd since Dec. 13 when he reportedly shot and killed his pregnant girlfriend, Sade Dixon. According to police, Loyd also shot and injured Dixon’s brother that night as he ran to help her.
Loyd is facing charges of first-degree murder, unlawful killing of an unborn child, attempted first-degree and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm stemming from that incident. He is expected to face additional charges in Clayton’s death.