The Florida State Attorney’s Office will not seek the death penalty for accused cop killer Markeith Loyd, numerous sources told WFTV on Wednesday night.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said he was "extremely upset" about the decision.
"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."
Loyd is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December and Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton in January.
Instead, prosecutors will seek life in prison without the possibility of parole, Dixon's family said.
Word from Dixon’s family came on the heels of an announcement by the Orlando Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25 that multiple sources had told officials Ayala will not seek the death penalty against Loyd.
"If this information is correct, this would be an epic injustice to the family of Lt. Debra Clayton, as well as every single law enforcement officer in the 9th Judicial Circuit," the FOP President Shawn Dunlap said in a statement. "The death penalty is the law of the land in the state of Florida and I believe that if there ever was a case for its use, this would be the one."
When asked for comment about the Dixon family's claim, Clayton's sister told Channel 9 by phone that she had not been told about any decision to take the death penalty off the table for Loyd.
WFTV legal analyst Belvin Perry was nonplussed at the reported decision.
"It's mind boggling," he said. "It defies logic. It defies all legal reasoning why (Ayala) would not seek the death penalty."
Dunlap said in his statement that the Orlando FOP had received information that the State Attorney's Office would be making a formal announcement about the Loyd death penalty decision Thursday.
"The heinous crimes that (Loyd) committed in our community are they very reason we have the death penalty as an option under the law," Mina's statement said.
Multiple requests for comment from the State Attorney's Office were not immediately returned.