A Florida jury on Wednesday found Markeith Loyd guilty of murder for fatally shooting his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her unborn child.
Loyd was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree murder of an unborn child and attempted first degree murder, along with two counts of attempted felony murder.
He killed Sade Dixon and her unborn child in December 2016. While on the run, he killed Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January 2017 outside a Walmart, police said. Loyd was arrested days later after a nationwide manhunt.
The defense argued Dixon was reaching for a gun before Loyd started shooting, CNN affiliate WFTS reported. Loyd’s actions leading up to the shooting were evidence of premeditation, prosecutors argued.
Loyd faces first-degree murder charges in Clayton’s killing. Clayton, 42, was a master sergeant in the police department at the time of her death; she was posthumously promoted to lieutenant.
The penalty phase in Wednesday’s conviction begins on Monday. Jurors can recommend that Loyd receive the death penalty.
Before the trial started, then-Gov. Rick Scott removed a Florida state attorney who was expected to prosecute Loyd from the case after she said he wouldn’t seek the death penalty in any cases.
Aramis Ayala, who was the state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida then, had argued the “death penalty traps many victims, families in a decades long cycle of uncertainty, court hearings, appeals and waiting.”