Scott-assigned prosecutor will seek death penalty for Markeith Loyd


  • Photo via Markeith Loyd/Facebook
The prosecutor assigned by Gov. Rick Scott to the case of Markeith Loyd announced Tuesday that he will seek the death penalty against the accused murder suspect.

Ocala-based State Attorney Brad King was appointed to the case after Scott removed Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who decided she wouldn't seek the death penalty against Loyd or in any other case during her administration. On Monday, Scott also reassigned 21 other first-degree murder cases from Ayala to King, saying Ayala's refusal to seek capital punishment sends an "unacceptable message that she is not interested in considering every available option in the fight for justice." In a statement, a spokesperson for Ayala says the governor is "abusing his authority and has compromised the independence and integrity of the criminal justice system."

Loyd is accused of fatally shooting his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December and then a month later, gunning down Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton at a Walmart in an "execution-style" manner. In a motion filed on Monday, King gave several aggravating factors that merit the death penalty for Loyd's alleged crimes, including the fact that Clayton's death was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel," and "committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner, without any pretense of moral or legal justification."

Earlier in March, filed a motion saying the state would not pursue the death penalty against Loyd.

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