Florida Prosecutor Removed From Cop-Killer Case After Saying She Wouldn’t Seek Death Penalty

Just hours after Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced Thursday that she will not seek the death penalty in any case under her administration, including the case of a man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and a police officer, the state’s governor asked her to recuse herself from the Markeith Loyd case, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

When Ayala refused, Governor Rick Scott removed her.

“I completely disagree with State Attorney Ayala’s decision and comments,” Scott said. “She has made it abundantly clear that she will not fight for justice for Lt. Debra Clayton and our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day.”

Ayala is the State Attorney for Orange and Osceola counties. Ayala cited time, resources and cost to taxpayers in her decision to not pursue the death penalty for Loyd or any other accused criminal. Loyd, 41, is accused of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, 24, on Dec. 13 at her home in Pine Hills. Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton was shot four times outside an Orlando Walmart in January after she received a tip that Loyd was at the store.

“By choosing to seek life sentences over death, we can assure that violent offenders will never be released. They will never continue to drain resources from this state with decades of appeals,” Ayala said.

Law enforcement leaders in central Florida were also disheartened by the decision and urged Ayala to reconsider.

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