Tue. Feb 25th, 2020

Orlando’s top prosecutor, Aramis Ayala, is serving her first and only term, since she isn’t seeking reelection. For the second time, she’s publicly at odds with state officials. Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to intervene in a high-profile 9th Circuit murder case. If he does, he’ll be the second governor to come between Ayala’s office and its assigned cases. Former Circuit Judge and legal expert O.H. Eaton said such a move would be very rare. “The only other instance I know of in Florida is the one that occurred early with Ms. Ayala’s office, regarding the death penalty cases,” Eaton said.In 2017, then-Gov. Rick Scott reassigned several murder cases to another state attorney after Ayala announced her office wouldn’t seek the death penalty. DeSantis extended the reassignments when he took office. Now, Ayala is again in question over her assertion Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson and his office went against her prosecutors’ advice to hold off on arrests in the high-profile case of Nicole Montalvo’s killing. She said more evidence was needed to prosecute before making arrests.”It triggers the speedy trial rule,” Eaton said. “You can lose a case if you can’t get the case brought to trial within the time frame of the speedy trial rule.”Eaton said these bouts are breaks in the system, saying the only way it works is if the elected officials cooperate.”The way the criminal justice system is set up in Florida is it’s all local. Local police investigate the local crimes, and the local prosecutor has the responsibility to prosecute them or not. That’s the way it works in Florida. If the governor decides to interfere, I think there has to be a real justification for doing that,” Eaton said.

ORLANDO, Fla. —

Orlando’s top prosecutor, Aramis Ayala, is serving her first and only term, since she isn’t seeking reelection. For the second time, she’s publicly at odds with state officials. Attorney

General Ashley Moody is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to intervene in a high-profile 9th Circuit murder case. If he does, he’ll be the second governor to come between Ayala’s office and its assigned cases. Former Circuit Judge and legal expert O.H. Eaton said such a move would be very rare.

“The only other instance I know of in Florida is the one that occurred early with Ms. Ayala’s office, regarding the death penalty cases,” Eaton said.

In 2017, then-Gov. Rick Scott reassigned several murder cases to another state attorney after Ayala announced her office wouldn’t seek the death penalty. DeSantis extended the reassignments when he took office.

Now, Ayala is again in question over her assertion Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson and his office went against her prosecutors’ advice to hold off on arrests in the high-profile case of Nicole Montalvo’s killing. She said more evidence was needed to prosecute before making arrests.

“It triggers the speedy trial rule,” Eaton said. “You can lose a case if you can’t get the case brought to trial within the time frame of the speedy trial rule.”

Eaton said these bouts are breaks in the system, saying the only way it works is if the elected officials cooperate.

“The way the criminal justice system is set up in Florida is it’s all local. Local police investigate the local crimes, and the local prose

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