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Markeith Loyd claims he feared for his life before firing gun, another juror excused

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    ORLANDO, FL (WESH) — Markeith Loyd took the stand Monday in his own defense in his murder trial.

Prosecutors rested their case and the defense began calling witnesses Monday morning.

Loyd is on trial for the 2016 murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon. He’s also accused of shooting and killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton and will go to trial in that case at a later date.

Loyd testified Monday afternoon that he doesn’t eat meat because he doesn’t believe in death, and he believes all animals are God’s creatures. He then said he doesn’t practice religion, that God is about unity not division. It was stated during the trial that Loyd and Dixon had been arguing about Dixon eating meat and smoking marijuana while she was pregnant before she was fatally shot.

Loyd said he asked Dixon her credit score because he was interested in starting a family and raising kids.

The defense said throughout the trial that Loyd was upset about Dixon smoking marijuana while she was pregnant. Loyd told the jury he smoked one time with Dixon and it had his whole body hurting. “I thought it was a sign of God because if weed is doing this to a grown person what would it do to a fetus trying to develop a brain,” Loyd said.

Loyd claimed he was defending himself the night he shot Dixon, “She pulled a gun on me. They done took the gun off the crime scene. They’ve got to be hiding a gun,” Loyd said.

Loyd walked through what happened during the shooting with the defense. He said he went to Dixon’s home to talk because the pair had just broken up. Loyd claimed Dixon told him she wanted an abortion.

“My goal was just to talk to her, explain myself, so she wouldn’t be so mad and if she wanted to get back together, I would.”

Loyd said their conversation escalated and Dixon pulled a gun on him, when her brother came outside and tried to grab him. Loyd claimed when he started firing shots he was in fear for his life.

As cross-examination began, a juror said they were dizzy, cutting the trial short for the evening. Cross-examination will begin again on Tuesday morning.

The prosecution called just one witness Monday before resting its case. That witness was Dr. Sara Zydowicz, a medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Dixon.

The defense’s primary focus Monday morning was on what was and wasn’t released to the media. They also focused on the gun that both sides agree Sade Dixon brought outside during the argument with Loyd and was found at the scene.

The defense’s first witness was Brian Savelli, who was the lead detective from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

The defense asked Savelli about the people who were arrested for allegedly helping Loyd hide after the shooting. Savelli was asked by the defense about an offer Loyd’s niece made that he would turn himself in if “the press” would quit “lying.”

At the end of the day, a juror was excused after saying there was a high probability she could be impartial after hearing a conversation between a deputy and another juror about concealed weapons.

Monday marked the third day of testimony in the trial.

Before testimony started Saturday morning, the judge removed a juror. The juror was replaced with an alternate for lying about her employment status, and then it was later determined she failed to disclose a prior arrest.

Jurors are being sequestered at a hotel for the duration of the trial.

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CNN