In 2012, 19 year old Alex Zaldivar was murdered by Bessman Okafor just one day before he was scheduled to testify against him in a home invasion case. Since then his father, Rafael Zaldivar, has fought for justice for his son and has served as a victim’s advocate to help other families through the tragedy of losing a loved one.
Now as the Central Florida stands divided over the decision of Orange Osceola County Attorney Aramis Ayala in her decision not to seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd in the alleged murder of OPD Lieutnenant Debra Clayon and his former girlfriend Sade Dixon, who was pregnant at the time of her death, Zaldivar is standing with the families of other victims who seek justice from the Ayala’s office.
A recent change in the requirements to carry out the death penalty also means his son’s case will be returned to Ayala.
Zaldivar recently interviewed with OPO Publisher Doug Kaplan to discuss what he believes is going on in the state attorney’s office and what he believes should be done.
“It did not surprise me because I expected that from her and where she stands politically.” begins Zaldivar ”
He describes his son as a kind, generous, young man, who spoke three languages, had many friends and even more potential to do good. The morning of his death his parents tried to reach him following some car trouble
“It took us 19 years to raise him. We lost him in a second. Two bullets to the back of the head.” Zaldivar adds “Aramis Ayala has thrown a monkey wrench in my personal agenda. Hugs for thugs. She doesn’t need to be in there. Period. Her job is to prosecute not legislate”
Zaldivar also denies points made by Ayala’s supporters that the process behind seeking the death penalty is tougher on families and believes their is a misproper use of office resources and manpower currently taking place at the state attorney’s offices.
It’s because of all of these things, he believes Ayala should be removed from her position.
“I think at this point yes, because she’s lost all credibility in that office. Right now that office is a complete disaster” Zaldivar adds “I don’t trust her with my son’s case. She would throw it out the window.”
Ultimately, he wants justice that will allow Alex’s family to move on with their lives and hopes to start a new business.
“I want this to end. Whatever it takes. We’re going to bring him back. I don’t want her near the case.” Zaldivar says in closing “It’s very difficult. It’s very hard.”
You can watch video of the interview below…