Murder suspect Markeith Loyd was back in court Monday for the first time since State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced she would not seek the death penalty in his case, or any other during her time in office.
Loyd’s case, however, is in new hands.
State Attorney Brad King, who represents Lake and Marion counties, was also in court Monday.
King is crossing district lines to take over the case, days after Gov. Rick Scott pulled Ayala from the case after she made her death penalty decision.
In court Monday, Ayala told the judge she believes the governor overstepped his bounds and she had already turned in a notice to not seek the death penalty against Loyd.
In a statement from the state attorney’s office: “The state attorney filed a motion to stay proceedings in the Markeith Loyd case because Ms. Ayala does not believe the governor has the authority to remove her from this case. However, Ms. Ayala does not want to hold up the process and further impact the families.
This is a time-sensitive case and Ms. Ayala would like to see the successful prosecution of Markeith Loyd.”
Gov. Scott said his decision has been made.
“I don’t know what she’s doing today, but I know I’ve already assigned the case to Brad King,” said Scott.
Ayala told the judge it is not her wish to delay Loyd’s prosecution.
King told the judge he has not seen Ayala’s motions to not seek the death penalty, and that it was wrongly filed after his appointment.
“The governor has appointed me. Ms. Ayala is divested of any jurisdiction,” he said. “It’s hard to get around that kind of authority to argue that I’m not allowed to be here.”
The judge said it was a complex issue that would be discussed and possibly finalized at another hearing.