Family of fallen officer says Loyd deserves death

- The husband and nephew of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton say her life was taken away suddenly. They want the same to happen to her suspected killer, Markeith Loyd, if he is convicted.

"My uncle had said to me yesterday, it's just not fair how he's able to take a life, but he's able to live," said Jarvis Grant, Clayton's nephew.  "I kind of feel like the death penalty is needed for this case, and for my uncle, he definitely was against the State Attorney not to pursue the death penalty."

His Uncle Seth, Debra's spouse found out that State Attorney Aramis Ayala was not seeking the death penalty against Loyd right before her big announcement last week.

RELATED: State Attorney decides not to pursue death penalty in all case

"He was not happy about it after she told him that she was not pursuing it."

But their hope was renewed after Gov. Rick Scott reassigned the case to State Attorney Brad King, after Ayala refused to recuse herself.

"I was really supportive of Rick Scott's decision to take her off," he said. 

Last Thursday, Orange County's top law enforcement officers stood by Seth Clayton, speaking out against Ayala's announcement, saying it would put other officers at risk by not having the death penalty.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says, "To put it bluntly, law enforcement officers throughout Florida are outraged over the decision that was made in this case."

Ayala has called Florida's death penalty a broken system and she is receiving support from the family of Sade Dixon, another one of Loyd's alleged victims. 

They say they want closure, rather than spending years going after a death sentence, but Grant says his uncle has a different way of looking at it.

"His closure will be to see him six feet under; it's just as simple as that."

Grant calls Loyd's recent outbursts in court disrespectful, adding "That just makes me more upset. That's just really hurtful that you can just take someone's life, whether it's Sade Dixon or my aunt, Lt Debra Clayton.  It's like why?"

Grant says he and his family will continue to have faith in the system.

"There's not much we can do. We can want certain things, but at the end of the day, all we can do is want. You have to leave it up to the people who can make those types of decisions."

And one day, he hopes to become the type of person like his Aunt Debra.  Right now, he is studying to become a police officer. 

"Me going into law enforcement and continuing the legacy of my aunt, that's something I know I'll be able to do. She was just really sweet, really kind. She is someone who will truly be missed."

A hearing is expected to take place on Tuesday, to see if Ayala will remain on the case.

 

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