ORLANDO, Fla. - It has been two days since Florida Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter demanding information on why State Attorney Aramis Ayala missed the deadline to file a motion to seek the death penalty in a Kissimmee murder case.
Ayala declined to comment Wednesday when asked about her reaction to Scott's letter.
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"I'll be happy to respond to you all after I respond to him," she said outside her office.
Scott has removed numerous death penalty cases from Ayala after she announced her office would not seek the death penalty in any case her office prosecutes.
She took Scott to court, unsuccessfully, over his ability to remove cases from her office, and in Monday’s letter, Scott also wants records on how much taxpayer money was spent during the court fight.
The case in question is against Emerita Mapp, who is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Zackery Ganoe at a Kissimmee hotel.
Mapp was arraigned on the charges on Aug. 23 and the state had 45 days to file an intent to seek the death penalty in the case.
Ayala’s office, following the decision by a death penalty review panel formed in response to Scott’s removal of cases, filed the death penalty intent motion on Oct. 31.
Ayala blamed Scott’s actions regarding death penalty cases for missing the deadline; Scott blames Ayala, insinuating that she may have purposefully not filed in time to take the death penalty off the table in Mapp’s case.
“Most troublingly, your more recent public comments indicate that you were well aware of the deadline, but knowingly filed the notice long after it had elapsed,” Scott’s Monday letter said. “At best, this suggests negligence – and at worst, willful disregard – in the faithful performance of the duties of your constitutional office.”
Ayala said Wednesday that her stance on the the reason for the missed filing had not changed.
"I stand by my previous comments and I will let you know anything additional after I respond to him," she said.
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