Officials in Orlando are expressing displeasure after the State Attorney announced she will not seek the death penalty in first-degree murder cases, including for the man accused of killing an officer and his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina issued a statement saying he was upset that Aramis Ayala would not seek the punishment for Markeith Loyd, who is alleged to have murdered Sade Dixon before killing Lt. Debra Clayton on January 9th.
"I was furious, I'll put it bluntly. This is a person who killed his girlfriend, killed his unborn child, executed a police officer in broad daylight, and the fact that we have video of him doing this as she lay helpless on the ground -- it's very upsetting," Mina said to NBC affiliate WESH-TV.
Ayala on Thursday said she had decided to no longer seek the death penalty after conducting a review. 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.
Ayala's decision comes just days after Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill requiring a unanimous jury recommendation before the death penalty can be imposed.
A judge entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Loyd, who has said he plans on representing himself during the upcoming trials.