ORLANDO, Fla. – Twenty-two executive orders concerning possible death penalty cases in Orange and Osceola counties have expired, prompting a letter to be written by State Attorney Aramis Ayala.
Ayala addressed the letter, obtained by News 6, to State Attorney Brad King of Marion County.
Gov. Rick Scott used executive orders to assign King more than 20 cases after Ayala announced last year that she would not seek the death penalty in any case in her office.
"After reviewing several Executive Orders, it is clear that 22 executive assignments to you have expired," she wrote. "The ramifications of expired Executive Orders could question your jurisdiction."
She offered a remedy.
"It appears that the most immediate fix would be for me to repeat the process I offered last year and cross-designate you and your team to serve here in our circuit," she wrote.
News 6 investigated and found out those expired executive orders include the murder case of Markeith Loyd, which expired on March 16.
Loyd is charged with killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton when she tried to arrest him in the death of his one-time girlfriend, Sade Dixon.
News 6 pulled 21 other cases that were assigned to King in April 2017, and all of those expired Tuesday.
"We don't want Ayala back on our case," said Stephanie Dixon-Daniels, Sade Dixon's mother.
She and her husband called King's office and the governor's office Wednesday afternoon, and they got results within hours.
"Our office received a request this afternoon from State Attorney Brad King’s office to extend the 22 executive assignments that are being prosecuted by his office," wrote McKinley Lewis, deputy communications director for the governor's office. "Per standard procedure, these assignments will be extended. We appreciate State Attorney Brad King’s willingness to seek justice on behalf of the victims of these crimes and their families. The Governor will never stop fighting for victims of crime and their families.”
News 6 reached out to Ayala's office after normal business hours to receive a comment on the extensions, and expects to hear back Thursday.
Dixon's family members said they're glad the governor extended the executive orders.