Man weighed sur­ren­der af­ter killings

OPD says Loyd called friend con­tem­plat­ing turn­ing him­self in

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Gal Tziper­man Lotan Or­lando Sen­tinel

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.

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