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Orlando cop killer Markeith Loyd is a sovereign citizen; tells judge ‘strap me up’

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A judge Wednesday entered not guilty pleas on accused murderer Markeith Loyd’s behalf and ordered that an attorney be appointed to him as stand-by counsel after Loyd claimed the charges he faces were not entered against him, but against a corporation created in his name.

“For the record I wanna state that I am Markeith Loyd, flesh and blood human being,” he said in court Wednesday morning. “… MARKEITH LOYD, in all capital letters, that’s not me. That’s a corporation that was created at my birth that I do not accept. That’s not me.”

That argument is sometimes used by people who consider themselves sovereign citizens and believe they are not subject to the jurisdiction of any government.

“It’s oftentimes misguided, but it’s not the first time the court has heard that position,” Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Frederick Lauten told Loyd.

Loyd is accused in the Dec. 13 death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and the Jan. 9 killing of Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton, who tried to arrest him near a Wal-Mart.

Prosecutors on Wednesday said they have not yet decided whether they will seek the death penalty.

Loyd was scheduled to enter a plea at an arraignment last week, but asked to delay the hearing because he had not received a copy of the complaint that explains the charges and evidence against him. Lauten agreed and ordered the documents sent to him.

Lauten asked Loyd to enter a plea. When Loyd continued to talk about whether the charges apply to him, Lauten said he will enter not guilty pleas on his behalf.

Then Lauten again began the process of what is called a Faretta inquiry, a hearing to determine whether defendants who want to represent themselves are competent to make the decision.

As Lauten asked whether Loyd understood that he has the right to an attorney, Loyd brushed him off.

“I don’t care, I’m representing myself,” Loyd said. “There ain’t nothing you all can do to me, nothing this courtroom can do to me. Worst thing that happened to me already happened. … Strap me up right now.”

Lauten kept going, again explaining to Loyd what the benefits of hiring an attorney are and what disadvantages he may face if he represents himself.

He again told Loyd that they will have to communicate effectively if he wants to act as his own attorney, and asked him to respect courtroom decorum after Loyd said he did not “give a [expletive]” about what the court does.

Lauten ordered that an attorney be appointed as stand-by counsel for Loyd. For the time being Loyd will likely be allowed to represent himself, but can take over the defense if Loyd decides he no longer wants to represent himself or if the judge decides he becomes too disruptive.

Since some of the charges Loyd faces can carry the death penalty, Lauten on Wednesday asked him if he wants the court to appoint an attorney to start collecting mitigating evidence — reasons presented to the jury why he should not be put to death. Loyd said he wanted to present the evidence himself, though Lauten pointed out that he is in jail and is limited in what he can do while behind bars.

Lauten said he wanted to do more research before deciding whether to appoint such an attorney.

Loyd is due back in court for a status hearing March 20.

glotan@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5774

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