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Man convicted of killing officer who tried to arrest him

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the shooting death of an Orlando police officer who was trying to arrest him outside a Walmart store for the earlier slaying of his pregnant former girlfriend.

Markeith Loyd was convicted of killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton on Jan. 9, 2017 as she tried to arrest him in the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon. Dixon was shot weeks earlier.

The 12-person jury in Orlando deliberated for about five hours over two days. Loyd remained expressionless but took off his face mask as the verdict was read. Loyd, 46, faces a potential death sentence when the penalty phase of his trial starts on Saturday.

Jurors also convicted Loyd of attempting to murder a second law-enforcement officer and carjacking a man with a gun while attempting to flee.

Loyd had pleaded not guilty. He testified that he shot Clayton in self-defense, and that he did not intend to kill her. Loyd’s attorneys argued that Loyd was insane when he shot Clayton.

Loyd hit Clayton four times, including a fatal shot to her neck as he stood over her before fleeing in his car, according to prosecutors. After the shooting, Loyd fled the scene and authorities conducted a nine-day manhunt before he was found in an abandoned house. Four police officers punched, kicked and hit Loyd with their rifle muzzles in a beating that caused him to lose an eye. They were eventually cleared of criminal wrongdoing and exonerated of excessive force claims.

Loyd has already been convicted of first-degree murder for killing Dixon and her unborn child. The jury in that case recommended he be sentenced to life in prison.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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