Orlando police chief ‘extremely upset’ judge won’t seek death penalty against accused cop killer

Markeith Loyd, suspected of fatally shooting a Florida police officer, attends his initial court appearance Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at the Orange County Jail, in Orlando, Fla. Loyd spoke out of turn and was defiant during the appearance on charges of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend. He was injured during his arrest Tuesday night following a weeklong manhunt. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP, Pool)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando’s police chief says he’s disappointed by a prosecutor’s decision not to seek the death penalty against a suspect charged with fatally shooting a police lieutenant.

Chief John Mina said he’s upset that State Attorney Aramis Ayala won’t seek the death penalty for Markeith Loyd.

“I have seen the video of Markeith Loyd executing Lt. Debra Clayton while she lay defenseless on the ground,” Mina said in a statement. “She was given no chance to live. A cop killer — who also killed his pregnant girlfriend — should not be given that chance.”

Ayala scheduled a news conference Thursday to explain the decision.

Mina says he had spoken to Ayala, and he believes crimes like the ones Loyd is accused of are the reason for having the death penalty.

Loyd faces two first-degree murder counts and other charges in the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and Lt. Debra Clayton. Loyd’s ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, was fatally shot at her home in December. Clayton was gunned down Jan. 9 outside a Wal-Mart while attempting to capture Loyd.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri echoed the sentiment, calling the decision “reprehensible” on a post to Facebook.




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