On Monday, the state attorney for Florida stated that he would not be prosecuting the white woman who had been accused of shooting her black neighbor through the door. In connection with Ajike Owens’ shooting murder on June 2, Susan Lorincz has been charged with manslaughter by firearm and assault.
According to State’s Attorney William Gladson, the office had insufficient evidence to charge Lorincz with murder. The prosecution must prove that Lorincz harbored premeditated malice toward the victim in order to convict him of murder. “As deplorable as the defendant’s actions were in this case, there is insufficient evidence to prove this specific and required element of second degree murder,” Gladson said.
“As is always true in criminal cases, failure to prove beyond a reasonable doubt even one element of a crime will result in a not guilty verdict. Given the facts in this case, aiming a firearm at the door, and pulling the trigger is legally insufficient to prove depraved mind.”
Marion County Sheriff’s Office also filed charges of culpable negligence and battery against Lorincz; however, Gladson’s office has decided not to pursue those charges due to conflicting witness testimony. Gladson stated that he would not be pressured to file charges due to popular opinion or community pressure.
The tweet below verifies the news:
A white Florida woman who fatally shot her Black neighbor through a door won’t face murder charges over a lack of sufficient evidence.
— The Hill (@thehill) June 27, 2023
“Simply stated, my obligation is to follow the law. Understandably, emotions run high, particularly with senseless, violent crimes. However, I cannot allow any decision to be influenced by public sentiment, angry phone calls or further threats of violence, as I have received in this case,” he said.
“To allow that to happen would also be improper and a violation of my oath as a prosecutor and as a lawyer.” If found guilty, Lorincz may spend the next 30 years behind bars. An attorney representing the Owens family, Anthony Thomas, formally requested an increase in the most serious allegation against Lorincz from manslaughter to second-degree murder after the bond hearing on June 9.
He expressed his extreme dissatisfaction with Gladson for not pressing murder charges. “All the evidence unequivocally supports the elevation of this charge to second-degree murder,” Thomas said.
“We firmly believe that justice demands nothing less. The failure of the prosecutor to charge Susan with what truly reflected her wanton, reckless behavior undermines our ability to even get real accountability. Nevertheless, our resolve remains unwavering, and we will continue to fight.”
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Owens’s mom, Pamela Dias, expressed confusion about how to break the news to her grandkids. “Today’s charge could not be further from true justice than a living, breathing AJ,” she said. After the incident, many people in the area demanded the perpetrator be taken into custody immediately.
Lorincz wasn’t arrested for several days because police were investigating the possible impact of the state’s “stand your ground” laws on the shooting. People in Florida who feel their lives are under danger may use deadly force in accordance with the “stand your ground” law, which was passed in 2005.
According to Sheriff Billy Woods, the shooting was the culmination of a rivalry that had lasted for over two and a half years. Lorincz’s annoyance stemmed from the fact that the Owens’ children often played in a field not far from her home. The accused killer admitted to using “the n-word” while referring to the victim’s children in the months preceding up to the murder.
One of the lawyers representing Owens’ family, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, had previously urged the state attorney’s office to “zealously prosecute” the gunman. “This is not a difficult case,” Crump has remarked before.
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