The former partner of Lt. Debra Clayton said he’s glad Gov. Scott stepped in and removed State Attorney Aramis Ayala from the Markeith Loyd case.
Nathan Holmes told Channel 9’s Deneige Broom that he can’t describe the pain of finding out his former partner was killed.
His only solace was knowing her accused killer could face the death penalty if convicted.
“I wanted the death penalty,” said Holmes.
But on Thursday, when Ayala announced she wouldn’t seek the death penalty in the Loyd case or any other cases, Holmes said he was shocked.
"At least put it on the table and let the jurors decide whether they're going to push the death penalty or not but the mindset of this new state attorney, she's not even putting it on the table."
Broom spoke to Holmes again after Scott removed Ayala from the Loyd case. He said he applauds Scott’s move but still has concerns for future cases that could involve accused killers of law enforcement officers or any other capital crime while Ayala holds office.
During her news conference, Ayala said part of her consideration is for victims’ families going through the process of repeated hearings for a death penalty case.
Holmes says that’s not her call. "At least ask them first and don't just come out blatantly and saying 'I'm not going to put the death penalty on the table at all.'"
Holmes said in the 30 years he’s been in law enforcement, he can’t remember a state attorney taking such a stance, especially in cases in which officers have been killed.
Holmes said it’s “mind-boggling” to him that she’d run for office and take that stance.
"We look for justice," he said. "We want justice and with this decision, with the state attorney's office, for a lot of us, I'm not going to say everyone, but for a lot of us we think we're not getting the justice that we need."
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