Gov. reassigns officer-killer case after attorney refuses to seek death penalty

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s governor is reassigning a case involving the killing of a police officer after an Orlando prosecutor said she will no longer seek the death penalty.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday that the governor is reassigning the Markeith Loyd case to a prosecutor in a neighboring district northwest of Orlando.

Scott’s action came hours after the top prosecutor in Orlando announced her office will no longer seek the death penalty in cases.

Loyd’s case is the most visible one affected by State Attorney Aramis Ayala’s decision. He is charged with killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and Lt. Debra Clayton.

Ayala says there is no evidence of improved public safety for citizens or law enforcement with the death penalty, and that such cases are costly and drag on for years.

Earlier in the day, Scott said Ayala should recuse herself from handling the case.

Scott says he “completely disagrees” with Ayala’s decision as it applies to Loyd.

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