Florida woman who shot neighbor through door will not be charged with murder

A Florida state prosecutor declined to pursue murder charges against a white woman accused of fatally shooting his black neighbor through a door, he announced on Monday.

Susan Lorincz had been charged with manslaughter with a firearm and assault in the June 2 shooting death of Ajike Owens. State’s Attorney William Gladson said his office determined there was not enough evidence to file a murder charge against Lorincz. Charging Lorincz with murder would require prosecutors to provide evidence of hatred, spite, ill will, or malicious intent toward the victim at the time of the murder.

Mom Ajike

Mom Ajike

“As deplorable as the defendant’s actions in this case are, there is insufficient evidence to prove this specific and required element of second degree murder,” Gladson said. “As is always the case in criminal cases, failure to prove beyond a reasonable doubt even one element of a crime will result in a verdict of not guilty. Given the facts of this case, pointing a gun at the door and pulling the trigger is legally insufficient to prove a depraved mind.”

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office had also charged Lorincz with culpable negligence and assault, but Gladson’s office is not pursuing those charges based on witness testimony in the case.

Gladson said he would not be pressured to press charges due to community pressure or public sentiment.

“Simply put, my obligation is to obey the law. Naturally, emotions run high, especially with violent and senseless crimes. However, I cannot allow a decision to be influenced by public opinion, appeals angry phone calls or other threats of violence, as I received in this case,” he said. “Allowing that to happen would also be inappropriate and a violation of my oath as a prosecutor and as a attorney.”

Lorincz faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Many in the community quickly called for the arrest of the suspect after shooting. Officers waited days to arrest Lorincz as they work to determine state’s role laws “Hold on” could play in the filming. Under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, enacted in 2005, people can use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger.

Sheriff Billy Woods said the shooting was the culmination of a two-and-a-half-year feud between neighbors. Lorincz was angry with Owens’ children who were playing in a field near his apartment.

The alleged shooter told detectives that she called the victim’s children racial slurs in the months leading up to the murder, admitting she used “the n-word”.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is one of the attorneys representing Owens’ family, had called on the state’s attorney’s office to “zealously pursue” the shooter. “It’s not a hard case,” Crump previously said.

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