Sunday, July 15, 2018

Judge sides with Gov. Scott in removal of Orlando prosecutor Ayala back in court

ORLANDO — A judge says Florida's governor can remove a prosecutor from a death penalty-eligible case and has denied a request to delay the proceedings.

State Attorney Aramis Ayala said earlier this month that she wouldn't seek the death penalty for a man charged in the December slayings of his ex-girlfriend and a police officer. After her announcement, Republican Gov. Rick Scott removed her from the case.

BACKSTORY: Aramis Ayala: the Florida state attorney who refuses to pursue the death penalty

Ayala, a Democrat, says the governor overstepped his authority and she is fighting to keep the case.

She asked a judge to delay proceedings for two weeks while she prepares an argument for the Florida Supreme Court. But Chief Justice Frederick J. Lauten denied her request Tuesday.

The case involves Markeith Loyd, who is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police lieutenant. Ayala says there is no evidence that shows the death penalty improves public safety. She says it's costly and drags on for years for the victims' families.

Another hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday.

 

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