This morning, the Markeith Loyd trial began at the Orange County Courthouse. Loyd is on trial under accusations of the murder of his ex girlfriend Sade Dixon, and was also the subject of a manhunt that saw two Orlando area law enforcement officers lose their lives (story HERE) while attempting to apprehend him.
As if the loss of life wasn’t enough grief for the community to bear, a controversial decision over whether Loyd should face the death penalty if convicted, divided the community and is still an intense subject to this day over two years later.
Sadly, the Orlando area is no stranger to controversial trials that have stemmed from tragedies.
In 2011, the nation was watching when Casey Anthony was found not guilty in the death of her young daughter Caylee (story HERE) here in Orlando. Anthony and her family still draw headlines 8 years later.
In 2013, in neighboring Seminole County, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin (story HERE), a case that still draws debate over the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida.
Just last year in 2018, Noor Salman was found not guilty of aiding her husband in the Pulse Night Club tragedy that took the lives of 49 people in downtown Orlando (story HERE) in one of the worst mass shootings in history.
All of these trials changed lives and put Orlando in the national spotlight. They all also tested this community’s ability to heal after the verdicts were read.
The Loyd trial probably won’t draw the eyes of the country to Central Florida and there won’t be national media camps outside of the courthouse, but that doesn’t make it any easier for Orlando to get through. It will be on TV everyday and you won’t be able to ignore it.
But it will eventually all end and the community can begin to heal once again.
Every time we’re tested we grow stronger and this won’t be any different.