Florida Accused Killer Asks for Miami Attorney to Represent Him

Accused double-murderer Markeith Loyd, 41, of Orlando, Florida was again in court on Monday, April 3, 2017, for a status hearing, one of several expected to occur before his criminal trial. Loyd, who had chosen to represent himself until Monday, asked Chief Judge Frederick J. Lauten to instead be represented by an attorney from Miami who has experience with death penalty cases.

Breaking News Update: April 4, 2017, Prosecutor Brad King has filed motions to seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd in the shooting deaths of his former girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton.

At the beginning of Monday’s hearing, Loyd made his request to the court to be represented by Miami-based attorney, Terry Lenamon, who has worked on 59 capital cases since 2000 in the state of Florida, including at least one case in which Brad King, the prosecutor appointed by Governor Scott as the states’ attorney in the Loyd trial, was the opposing counsel.

Update April 14, 2017: Florida Judge Denies Markeith Loyd’s Request to Hand-Pick Attorney

Loyd made clear to Judge Lauten that yes, he is now willing to be represented by a court-appointed attorney, but only if that attorney is Lenamon. The judge explained that in most circumstances, neither the defendant or the court has the ability to choose who a court-appointed attorney will be, but under the circumstances, Lauten agreed he would take Loyd’s request under serious consideration. Prosecutor Brad King stated he would leave the decision up to the court’s discretion.

The chief judge of Florida’s 9th District Court has been encouraging the defendant to at least accept stand-by counsel due to the severity of the criminal charges against him. The Orange County public defenders’ office recused itself, with the court’s agreement, from defending Markeith Loyd due to a conflict of interest in that the public defenders’ office is representing several of the individuals who may serve as witnesses in the Loyd criminal proceedings.

Judge Lauten explained to Loyd that he is leaning in the direction of granting Loyd’s request for representation by Lenamon, but there are some details about appropriate payment and other items that need to be worked out, including having Lenamon in court to speak to the judge directly. Lauten explained that he does want Lenamon to agree to have a co-counsel, Mr. Wheaton, who is currently the lead stand-by counsel for Loyd appointed by the court in a previous status hearing on March 28, 2017.

A status hearing on this matter is scheduled to be held April 10, 2017.

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