State Attorney Aramis Ayala files motion to stay on Markeith Loyd case

by: WFTV Web Staff Updated:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Murder suspect Markeith Loyd was back in court Monday for the first time since State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced she would not seek the death penalty in his case, or any other during her time in office.

Loyd’s case, however, is in new hands.

State Attorney Brad King, who represents Lake and Marion counties, was also in court Monday.

King is crossing district lines to take over the case, days after Gov. Rick Scott pulled Ayala from the case after she made her death penalty decision.

Scott had asked Ayala to recuse herself, but she refused.

In court Monday, Ayala told the judge she believes the governor overstepped his bounds and she had already turned in a notice to not seek the death penalty against Loyd.

In a statement from the state attorney's office: "The state attorney filed a motion to stay proceedings in the Markeith Loyd case because Ms. Ayala does not believe the governor has the authority to remove her from this case. However, Ms. Ayala does not want to hold up the process and further impact the families. 

This is a time-sensitive case and Ms. Ayala would like to see the successful prosecution of Markeith Loyd."

Document: Ayala's motion to stay on Loyd case

Gov. Scott said his decision has been made.

"I don't know what she's doing today, but I know I've already assigned the case to Brad King," said Scott.

Ayala told the judge it is not her wish to delay Loyd’s prosecution.

King told the judge he has not seen Ayala’s motions to not seek the death penalty, and that it was wrongly filed after his appointment.

“The governor has appointed me. Ms. Ayala is divested of any jurisdiction,” he said. “It’s hard to get around that kind of authority to argue that I’m not allowed to be here.”  

The judge said it was a complex issue that would be discussed and possibly finalized at another hearing. 

Judge Frederick Lauten then turned matters over to Loyd, who told the judge he was “doing fine.”

Loyd complained that only Ayala understands the office and said he doesn’t believe the governor knows anything about his case.

"I object to it, actually. Because first of all, the governor doesn't know nothing about my case. He doesn't know nothing about the evidence," Loyd said.

Loyd also reaffirmed his intent to represent himself.

He claimed he’s getting inadequate medical attention for injuries he sustained during his arrest.

“My jaw broke, my nose got broke, my eye got broke,” he said. “I don’t have an eye (anymore).”

Loyd also said he has not been allowed to use the phone and that the jail personnel have a “personal vendetta” against him. 

Loyd filed a grievance with the court last Thursday that requests access to health care services. He said in the grievance, "I was tortured. I was beaten and kicked in my head numerous times."

Orlando police Chief John Mina, who has shown strong opposition to Ayala’s death penalty decision, said Ayala’s motion caught him off guard.

“I had no idea. She never met with me about this decision,” said Mina. "I think the more important thing also is that there is a reason we have the death penalty. People like to throw out the whole deterrent thing out there, but these crimes that are so heinous and so violent, and people convicted of these crimes have to face those consequences, and the death penalty is one of them."

READ: Chief Mina 'extremely upset' over decision to not seek death penalty in Markeith Loyd case

Orlando police detectives are meeting with King, who plans to have a meeting with Mina. 

 

 

Ayala had five reasons why she won’t seek death in cases, citing research she said shows that the death penalty drains more resources than a life sentence. Scott said he disagreed.

Loyd is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, in December and fatally shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January.

READ: Murder victim's mother joins anti-death penalty protesters at rally

Lauten scheduled a new hearing for March 28 to decide if Ayala has jurisdiction to fight the governor’s decision.

The judge also addressed the public defender’s office and its contention that there may be a conflict of interest.

The office represents numerous witnesses in Loyd’s cases.

"I think he should have a lawyer, and so I'm not comfortable with the court," said Jeffrey Deen, Office of Criminal Conflict.

Lauten ruled he will remove public defender's from standby counsel capacity. 

 

Last week, King said if there are aggravating circumstances, he will look at the death penalty in Loyd's case.

WFTV legal analysts said they expect King to take a close look at reinstating the charges filed against the two defendants who are accused of helping Loyd hide. 

Loyd is set to go to trial in May.

Follow reporter Field Sutton on Twitter and stay with wftv.com for updates. 

WATCH: Markeith Loyd's Monday court appearance below: