Rick Scott yanks cop-killer case from Aramis Ayala, reassigns it – Florida Politics

Rick Scott yanks cop-killer case from Aramis Ayala, reassigns it

Gov. Rick Scott has used an executive order to pull the prosecution of alleged cop-killer Markeith Loyd away from Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala and to reassign it to State Attorney Brad King in Lake County.

Scott’s unprecedented move comes hours after the unprecedented announcement by Ayala that she would not prosecute death penalty charges, including in the case of Loyd, charged with killing his pregnant girlfriend Sade Dixon last December and that of Orlando Police Master Sergeant Debra Clayton in January.

Ayala stated later she is complying.

“Upon receipt of any lawful order, my office will follow that Order and fully cooperate to ensure the successful prosecution of Markeith Loyd,” she said in a written statement issued by her office.

The move is the latest event in a day of uproar that began with reports that Ayala, a newly-elected state attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit, had concluded that Florida’s death penalty law was unjust and would not use it, even in the Loyd case.

The outrage included Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s swift condemnations, the head of Florida’s largest police union to demand Ayala resign, and Scott’s demand that she recuse herself from the Loyd case.

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“She informed me this afternoon that she refuses to do that. She has made it clear that she will not fight for justice and that is why I am using my executive authority to immediately reassign the case to State Attorney Brad King,” Scott announced in a press release this afternoon.

Ayala was elected as state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit, covering Orange and Osceola counties. The Dixon and Clayton murders occurred in Orange County.

King was elected as state attorney for the 5th Judicial Circuit, covering Marion, Lake, Citrus, Sumter, Hernando counties.


Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.


  1. I am opposed to the death penalty. I support the decision of the State’s Attorney to not seek the death penalty.

    I am now writing a letter asking that, if I am ever murdered, my murderer NOT be executed. My letter also asks that the Attorney General offer this letter to the jury in the sentencing phase of any prosecution. I will give the original to my attorney, with instructions that the original be delivered to defense counsel in any such murder case.

      1. It’s “you’re”, not “your”. Everyone is entitled to their opinion as in “you’re ignorant”.

      1. There’s no data anywhere, ever, try as they might to find it – the pro-kill folks I mean (usually the same people as don’t want to allow termination of a pregnancy involving a non-human, an embryo, ironically) that capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

        1. There IS one absolute, and that is the executed animal will never get paroled and murder someone else!

        2. I agree the death penalty in its current application, does little if anything to deter crime. However, if we put in an expresslane for the more violent unscrupulous undeniable guilty perps, no lines no waiting is the way to go. If you kill someone we gonna kill you back. I know, I know, says in the bible that god forgives them. Thats good we just arranging the meeting. Do away with the electric chair i say electric bleachers and purge the list on the first of each month.

    1. Here is the Bible’s position on justice:
      “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
      ‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    2. Who cares about your wishes. Put them in a bottle and throw it in the sea. This isn’t about you. Get over yourself.

    1. Because there are people like Ayala lying to get elected and then imposing her will over the will of the people’ for starters.

        1. Oh, A, you must have been in a coma. Hillary Clinton lost. We have the Honorable Donald J Trump as President. Thank God🙏🏻

    2. Because she’s not following the laws of the state of Florida! Her personal opinions should never come inside a courtroom!

    3. Ummmm because he is the Governor and statutorial powers give him such……gosh people are so ignorant.

  2. Those of us that work in the Justice System do not have the luxury of picking & choosing which laws are enforced or not enforced…..We took an oath to uphold the laws created by the legislature, who are elected by the citizens of the state of Florida.

    State Attorney Aramis Ayala took an Oath to Prosecute those who violate the law. She is supposed to fight for justice, to bring punishment on the wrong doer. If she doe not want to do her job….BYE!!!

    1. Spoken like a true weak back liberal.
      Hopefully some animal never murders one of your family members.
      Until then, keep your liberal legal views to yourself.

    2. This animal murdered 3 people, and his actions had a hand in another Officers death. He needs to face the death penalty. This man has no redeeming qualities .

  3. I wonder if one of her family members were murdered if she would still feel the same way?

  4. I agree with governor Rick Scott .. that should be the only offer on the table .. the death penalty straight up.. kill An be killed 💯..

  5. Really and you got elected State Attorney in your county? Wow really need to question the people who voted for you. You need to be taken out of office, as you actually lied to the voters. Did you not swear to up hold the laws of the state? Now once in office your not going to up hold the laws. Mmmmmmm sounds like another lying politician.

  6. In my home State this accused person would be touted as misunderstood and lacking the support they deserved. I live in the hell known as NY. We used to have a death penalty, but the Left took it, and had the highest court in NY declare it unconstitutional. I hate living in liberal land….DO NOT let the left get hold, once they do your guns, and laws will change be at risk. Don’t think they can take our gun? Just look to the SAFE Act, what a crock of NYC that is.

    Kill a cop….express line to hell

  7. Scott just created a legal nightmare and his actions could actually allow the Defendant to become “scott-free”, within a matter of years…….

  8. I say an eye for an eye in these situations. If you’re a predator or a murderer the fullest extent of the law should be applied. In this case that’s the death penalty. I applaud governor Scott for stepping in.

  9. If the Pope ever actually says that capital punishment is a GOOD IDEA, I will give prayerful consideration to his thoughts.

    I will then reaffirm my letter to the Jury, asking that my murderer (if any) not be executed.

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