White neighbour who fatally shot Black mother in row over children playing pleads not guilty to manslaughter

Susan Lorincz was charged with manslaughter last month for fatally shooting her neighbour, Ajike “AJ” Owens

Ariana Baio
Tuesday 11 July 2023 17:19 BST

A white woman accused of fatally shooting her Black neighbour through the front door of her house pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter charge on Tuesday.

Susan Lorincz, 58, was charged with manslaughter and assault in Marion County, Florida, after shooting Ajike “AJ” Owens when the 35-year-old knocked on her door.

Owens, a mother of four, was trying to confront Ms Lorincz for allegedly calling her children racial slurs, taking their iPad and then throwing skates at her son.

Authorities said Ms Lorincz and Owens had a longstanding feud regarding Owen’s children playing in an area next to Ms Lorincz’s home.

On 2 June, Owens went over to Ms Lorincz’s home to speak with her about the incident involving skate-throwing. Ms Lorincz then fired a bullet from within her home which went through the locked door and struck Owens.

First responders attempted to keep Owens alive and rushed her to a nearby hospital, but she did not survive her injuries.

Ajike Owens, a 35-year-old mother of four from Ocala, Florida

Mr Gladson claimed there was insufficient evidence that Ms Lorincz had “hatred, spite, ill will or evil intent” toward Owens.

“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,” Mr Gladson said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press.

Susan Lorincz is seen in a booking photo

Ms Lorincz faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Anthony Thomas, the family attorney for the Owens family said that Ms Lorincz “deserves all 30 years of that 30-year-maximum sentence” in a news conference last month.

“We firmly believe that justice demands nothing less,” Mr Thomas said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Ms Lorincz’s next court door is expected to be sometime in September, a spokesperson in Florida’s Fifth Judicial Circuit Court told CNN.

As of now, Ms Lorincz has not posted the $154,000 bond set for her.

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