Florida's governor is reassigning a case involving the killing of a police officer after an Orlando prosecutor said she no will longer seek the death penalty.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday that the governor is reassigning the Markeith Loyd case to a prosecutor in a neighboring district northwest of Orlando.
Scott's action came hours after the top prosecutor in Orlando announced her office will no longer seek the death penalty in cases.
Loyd's case is the most visible one affected by State Attorney Aramis Ayala's decision. He is charged with killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and Lt. Debra Clayton.
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.
On Thursday, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams issued the following statement:
"I... am very disturbed that Markeith Loyd will not be facing the death penalty for murdering (his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando officer) in cold blood.
If there ever was a case that calls for prosecution to the extent allowed by law, this is it. I echo the sentiments of Sheriff Demings and Chief Mina, in the Orlando area, in their expressions of disappointment and concern that a person who murders a law enforcement officer and a citizen, in a most heinous way and with no remorse, will not be prosecuted to the full extent of the law in the 9th Judicial Circuit in Florida.I want to acknowledge Governor Rick Scott for his swift action in addressing this matter by reassigning the case to another circuit."