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

Florida Governor Rick Scott Speaks On State's December Job Numbers

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.

“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

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 [email protected].


  • Larry Gillis (Cape Coral)

    March 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    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.

    • Lol

      March 16, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      You are stupid….

      • Llib

        March 17, 2017 at 1:22 am

        I agree with you!

    • Rose Glasses

      March 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Your an idiot.

      • Grammar Police

        March 16, 2017 at 7:28 pm


      • Susan Flynn

        March 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm

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

    • B Deceglie Ocala,Fl

      March 16, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Hope your attacker doesn’t believe in it either so you survive there’s no anti death penalty law for victims to stop a perp from doing it

      • Kevin Clair

        March 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        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.

        • lvflglf

          March 17, 2017 at 7:26 am

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

        • M. Clements

          March 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

          But it surely stops recidivism.

        • American justice

          March 18, 2017 at 12:05 am

          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.

    • Harold

      March 16, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      As long as you are the only victim no one cares.

    • Kevin Loncev

      March 16, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      You are fool. What this animal did, he doesn’t deserve to live.

    • C

      March 16, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Your an ass hole. Just shut the hell up and don’t ever speak again. Douchebag

        • Larry Gillis (Cape Coral)

          March 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm

          I’m picking up on some hatred here.

          I will pray for you.

          • Justice....LEO....cops lives matter scumbag

            March 17, 2017 at 10:57 pm

            You are a failed abortion…you idiot

    • Kevin S

      March 16, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      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

    • Yeranidiot

      March 17, 2017 at 11:15 am


    • BJ

      March 17, 2017 at 8:36 pm

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

  • Buddy Bakef

    March 16, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Why does Scott even have this power?

    • Tim Wedding

      March 16, 2017 at 6:09 pm

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

    • Denise

      March 16, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      If she didn’t agree with the laws of the state, then she should not have run for judge.

    • John

      March 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      To protect his state from left wing idiots like yourself..

    • Christian

      March 16, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      State law prevails. Executive oversight!

    • John McKee

      March 17, 2017 at 12:47 am

      Because he is the Governor

    • Karen cornwell

      March 17, 2017 at 8:06 am

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

    • BJ

      March 17, 2017 at 8:38 pm

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

    • Justice for fallen

      March 16, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      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.

    • Keith

      March 16, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      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 .

  • Lois Higens

    March 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you governor Scott!

  • bill mulcahy

    March 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm

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

  • Gryphon

    March 16, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Cop killers deserve no less than a complete trial and a sure death.

  • Rich

    March 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Dumb snowflake shouldn’t be a judge.

  • Cathy Wright

    March 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    An Eye for an Eye.

  • Troy

    March 16, 2017 at 10:01 pm

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

  • Ed campbell

    March 16, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    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.

  • Paul

    March 16, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    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

  • EL A

    March 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm

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

  • Patty Dee

    March 17, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Thank you, Gov. Scott!! Don’t back down!!!

  • Carlos

    March 17, 2017 at 9:05 am

    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.

  • John

    March 17, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Murderers should be executed right after sentences.Child molester should get the death penalty Also

  • Larry Gillis

    March 17, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    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.

Comments are closed.


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