A man accused of fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend and later a police officer who tried to arrest him was arraigned Wednesday in an Orlando, Florida, circuit court.
Markeith Loyd, 41, was surrounded by armed law enforcement officers wearing green flak jackets.
When asked to enter a plea, Loyd responded: “For the record, I want to state that I am Markeith Loyd. Flesh and blood. I’m a human being. I’m not a fictitious person. I’m not a corporation,” he said.
Loyd wanted to discuss the Uniform Commercial Code and corporate status, which the judge explained is a position sovereign citizens sometimes mention in courts. Sovereign citizens believe some laws or government proceedings do not apply to them. The defense often is misguided, the judge said.
Chief Judge Frederick J. Lauten entered a not guilty plea on Loyd’s behalf.
A mostly cooperative Loyd did have a series of verbal outbursts when he questioned why the court placed charges against him.
“The state of Florida has charged you with these offenses, not the court,” Lauten explained.
Loyd had an eye patch and repeatedly insisted on representing himself.
Lauten expressed concern about whether Loyd could properly conduct himself to carry out the proper legal proceedings, should he choose to represent himself.
Despite numerous attempts by the judge to extend legal counsel, Loyd turned down all the offers for assistance.
Loyd was found competent to make the decision of representing himself, but the judge ordered a public defender be assigned as standby counsel.
Court documents indicate that Loyd has not been diagnosed with a mental issue, that he has 10 years worth of schooling and that he has a GED certificate.
The formal charges came a week after Loyd wrote a letter to the circuit court judge requesting a copy of the arrest affidavits and indictment against him. The suspect said he wanted more time to decide his plea to a list of a charges handed down by a grand jury last week.
Death penalty pending
Heavily armed officers arrested Loyd at a house in Orlando after a nationwide manhunt in January.
Loyd said in January the full story has not been told about the fatal shooting of his pregnant girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and the wounding of other people on December 13.
“A gun was pulled on me first, but you’re acting like I just went there and shot her,” he told the judge in January.
In the Dixon case, he is charged with first-degree murder with a firearm, killing an unborn child by injury to a mother, attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.
Loyd faces another first-degree murder charge in the killing of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton. He has also been charged with carjacking with a firearm and wearing a bulletproof vest in the act of committing an offense in that killing, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Loyd’s pretrial hearing for the Dixon case is set for April 17, Lauten said. The jury selection for that trial will begin on May 1. The case is expected to last about two weeks.
On June 19, Loyd would stand trial, accused of killing Clayton. A pretrial hearing currently is scheduled for June 12.
The state attorney’s office told the court they have not decided whether they will seek the death penalty in the cases.
The next status hearing is scheduled for March 20.