• State Attorney Aramis Ayala struck from witness list in Markeith Loyd case

    By: Field Sutton , Kelly Healey

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Accused killer Markeith Loyd and his attorneys were in court Thursday, fighting to have State Attorney Aramis Ayala on their witness list.

    Loyd is accused of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in 2016 and Orlando Police Department Lt. Debra Clayton in 2017.

    The judge denied the defense’s request Thursday and Ayala was struck from the witness list.

    In 2017, Ayala refused to seek the death penalty in the case.

    Gov. Rick Scott pulled Ayala after she made her death penalty decision.

    The defense claimed the jury should know about the specific reasons that Ayala had to refuse the death penalty in Loyd’s case.

    But the prosecution said they did not see the value in her testimony.

    "What he's trying to do is essentially have the state attorney testify about her weighing of the facts, and essentially, her opinion of the death penalty in this case," Assistant State Attorney Ric Ridgway said.

    Judge Leticia Marques agreed, saying it was nothing more than different opinions. Marques said she wants the case tried on facts.

    A trial date is set for September.

    Ayala no longer handles death penalty cases in Central Florida.

    The circumstances surrounding the events which occurred when Loyd was allegedly beaten by police, causing him to lose an eye, are still up in the air.

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