Man weighed surrender after killings
OPD says Loyd called friend contemplating turning himself in
As authorities searched for Markeith Loyd after the killing of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton, he told his half brother and a friend he considered letting the family of the first woman he’s accused of killing — his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon — turn him in to police.
“I was thinking about … letting Sade people turning me in so they
could get the reward for the kids,” Loyd told his friend, though he also expressed reluctance, maintaining he had been “framed” for Dixon’s killing, records show.
“These crackers be lying too much [unintelligible] I don’t like that though,” Loyd said.
Loyd’s friend wasn’t the only one listening as he debated his options during the phone call 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17, 2017, just a half hour before his arrest. Orlando police were also on the line, having gotten a judge’s approval to tap the friend’s phone.
Details of Loyd’s final phone calls as a free man were revealed in a report obtained Wednesday by the Orlando Sentinel, released by prosecutors after they publicly confirmed for the first time last week that wiretaps were used during the manhunt for Loyd.
In a September 2017 letter to the Sentinel, Loyd claimed police were listening to his conversations and knew he wanted to turn himself in and give the $125,000 reward to Dixon’s family, but that officers beat him anyway as he crawled out of the abandoned Lescot Lane home in which he had been hiding.
His defense attorney Terry Lenamon repeated that claim in court last week, saying jurors should be able to consider it if they have to decide whether he should be sentenced to death or to life in prison. His trial in Dixon’s killing could start in May, and he faces the death penalty if convicted in either her death or Clayton’s.
The wiretap report was part of an Orlando police investigation into whether Loyd got help in evading capture after Clayton’s killing. Before Loyd’s capture police arrested his boss, Zarghee Mayan; a niece; and former girlfriend Jameis Slaughter, but prosecutors did not pursue charges against any of them. The wiretaps did not lead to any arrests other than Loyd’s.
“Except for the documented communications in this report, none of the text messages or voice calls intercepted during this investigation gave a clear indication that any of these people knew where Markeith Loyd was hiding after he killed Sergeant Clayton,” Detective Michael Moreschi wrote in the report, dated July 14, 2018.
Prosecutors for Ocala State Attorney Brad King, who are handling the case, released the report in response to a public records request.
The report gives some insight into where Loyd was between Dixon’s killing Dec. 13, 2016, and his arrest Jan. 17, 2017.
Police believe Loyd lived in his car for a while after Dixon’s killing. Cell tower data show he was in Carver Shores and South Apopka. He frequently called Slaughter and Mayan, records show.
In intercepted conversations, he claimed to not have any help from friends or family. If he did, he said, he would not have been “in the Walmart trying to buy my own [expletive] food.” Clayton was shot in the store’s parking lot trying to arrest Loyd after a fellow shopper spotted him.
A brother of Loyd’s friend bought two pre-paid cellphones and a $45 phone card Jan. 1, 2017, records show. The brother, who was never arrested in the case, first said he bought the phones for himself — then claimed one of them was stolen, then said he bought them for a man at a “gambling house,” records show.
Moreschi called the cover stories “obvious lies.”
“He adamantly denied any connection to Markeith Loyd and explained Loyd is his [brother’s] friend,” Moreschi wrote.
Loyd blocked his number by dialing *67 before he called friends and family, records show, but police were still able to trace the calls using data from his cellphone and the carrier.
The last conversation police listened to before Loyd’s arrest was with his halfbrother, Barry Jacobs, records show. Loyd again said he was thinking about turning himself in but was not committed to the idea.
“And um, I’m gonna say, damn cause if I do, nah I’m gonna get away, I really don’t want to live in that [expletive]. But I would think about doing it and getting the money to Sade’s kids,” Loyd said.
That call started about 14 minutes before his arrest.
Markeith Loyd is charged in the December 2016 killing of Sade Dixon and the January 2017 killing of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton.