When Markeith Loyd goes on trial in the slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, jurors will learn that Loyd is also accused of shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton to avoid capture.
But they will not be told that Clayton died in the shootout, Circuit Judge Leticia J. Marques ruled Tuesday.
Loyd is slated to stand trial Sept. 27 in the December 2016 shooting death of Sade Dixon. On Jan. 19, 2017, Clayton was attempting to arrest him in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart on Princeton Street when authorities say Loyd opened fire, fatally wounding her.
“The fact that she died is not relevant to any material issue in [the case of Dixon’s killing],” Marques wrote in her ruling. “The fact that [Loyd] shot Debra Clayton to avoid arrest for Ms. Dixon’s shooting and then ran is all the State needs to establish. Introducing Debra Clayton’s death is unnecessary and the prejudicial impact would outweigh the probative value of the evidence.”
Marques ruled that jurors in the Dixon case will also not be allowed to hear Clayton’s radio transmissions or see surveillance footage that authorities have said recorded the officer’s killing.
However, prosecutors will be allowed to introduce evidence that the same gun was used to shoot Dixon and Clayton, and that Loyd had that gun when he was arrested later. Jurors can also hear testimony about the moments leading up to Clayton’s shooting, Marques ruled.
Loyd faces the possibility of the death penalty in both killings.
His trial in Clayton’s slaying is currently expected in May.
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