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Three teenagers charged with killing MMA fighter Aaron Rajman

A 16-year-old and two 18-year-olds have been charged with first-degree murder in relation to the death of a Florida-based MMA fighter.

(Left to right) Summer Church, Roberto Ortiz, and Jace Swinton.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Aaron Rajman, a mixed-martial-artist with a pro record of 2-2, was shot and killed in his Boca Raton, FL home on July 3rd at approximately 10:30 p.m. He was 25 years old. On Friday, it was reported - by Palm Beach Post - that three individuals had been charged with Rajman’s murder.

The individuals arrested in connection Rajman’s murder are Summer Church (16), Roberto Ortiz (18), and Jace Swinton (18). Each of them has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion with a firearm or other deadly weapon.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office claim that Rajman was shot after ‘several men entered his home.’ The PBCSO further stated that the shooting was the result of a ‘fight’ that broke out between these men and Rajman. The PBCSO did not mention any role played by the female suspect, Church.

Palm Beach Post interviewed Judith Church, Summer’s mother, about her role in the incident. She claimed that her daughter and Rajman had been acquaintances since meeting at a convenience store in January. Judith Church further claimed that, on the day of the murder, her daughter was ‘forced at gunpoint’ by Ortiz and three other gunmen to call Rajman to see if he was home. Then, Church and an unnamed female friend, were allowed out of a car that would allegedly take the gunmen to Rajman’s home.

Judith Church claimed her daughter, who was dating fellow suspect Jace Swinton at the time of the murder, had co-operated with authorities ‘as much as possible.’ A separate article by the Post stated that police may believe Church was the ‘mastermind’ of the operation. Summer Church will face her charges as an adult.

The Post also reports that Ortiz has had prior run-ins with the law. In January he was arrested after allegedly pointing a gun at a 16-year-old, punching and kicking a second person, and firing a shot at a third. That month he was also arrested for armed robbery, but those charges were dropped when the victim refused to co-operate with police.

Speaking about the case, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said, “This was no random act of violence. Mr. Rajman was targeted by these defendants and we intend to seek justice for the victim and his family.”

Rajman, who competed as a featherweight, trained with American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. His final MMA bout was in May, 2016 with the House of Fame promotion. Before turning pro Rajman amounted an 8-1 amateur record.

A GoFundMe campaign raised $27,534 for Rajman’s funeral expenses (surpassing its original goal by over $7,000). Rajman’s memorial was held on July 6th.

In Florida, first-degree murder is a capital offense. This means, if found guilty, Church, Ortiz, and Swinton could receive death sentences. All three are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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