Markeith Loyd, the man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando, Fla., police officer who tried to arrest him, is competent enough to decide whether he wants to be represented by an attorney, a judge said Thursday. The judge did not make a final ruling as to whether Loyd can represent himself.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Loyd sat quietly in the jury box, guarded by three officers. In previous court appearances, he swore at judges, but on Thursday he answered some of 9th Circuit Chief Judge Frederick Lauten’s questions and ignored others.
“I intend to treat you with respect and dignity because you’re owed that as a human being,” Lauten told Loyd at the start of the hearing. “I need that same behavior from you.”
Loyd told the judge that since his arrest, he had not been allowed a phone call to his family, he had only been allowed one shower, and that because of the injuries he suffered when police reportedly beat him during his arrest, he is losing an eye and can’t open his mouth to eat.
The judge told Loyd that he would allow him a phone call to his family Thursday so they could discuss whether or not he should get a lawyer. He advised Loyd that the state could provide him with one if he couldn’t afford it.
According to the Sentinel, Loyd will likely be due back in court after prosecutors file formal charges against him, but a date for that has not yet been set.
Loyd faces two counts of first-degree murder; one count of unlawfully killing an unborn child; as well as charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and carjacking with a firearm.
According to the Sentinel, the hearing lasted a total of 25 minutes, and as he was led out of the courtroom by three officers, Loyd looked back at his family and said, “Hi. I’ll call you.”
Read more at the Orlando Sentinel.