Prosecutors said there was “insufficient evidence” to charge Susan Lorincz with murder in the shooting death of Ajike “AJ” Owens, WESH reports.
The news was revealed Monday after State Attorney William Gladson announced the formal filing of manslaughter charges against Lorincz.
RELATED: UPDATE: Susan Lorincz, 58, Officially Charged With Manslaughter In Shooting Death Of Ajike Owens, 35
State Attorney Says There Is Not Enough Evidence To Charge Susan Lorincz With Murder
The news comes despite a push from Owens’ family to upgrade the original manslaughter charges to second-degree murder. The state said there is “insufficient evidence” to prove Lorincz had a “depraved mind.”
Doing so is required to establish second-degree murder, according to the outlet.
“In order to prove the crime of second-degree murder, the State must prove beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, the existence of a depraved mind toward the victim at the time of the killing. Depraved mind requires evidence of hatred, spite, ill will or evil intent toward the victim at the time of the killing. 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.
Additionally, the prosecutor continued: “I am aware of the desire of the family, and some community members, that the defendant be charged with second-degree murder. My obligation as State Attorney is to follow the law in each case that I prosecute.”
Lorincz Granted $154K Bail Monday But Remains Jailed, Still Faces Up To 30 Years In Prison
The 58-year-old is accused of shooting Owens through an unopened door in Ocala, Florida. Owens, 35, was reportedly killed in front of her child on June 2.
Lorincz still faces up to 30 years in prison, according to Fox 35 Orlando. However, she was granted a $154,000 bond on Monday.
The suspect reportedly told the judge that she only had $1,700 and remained incarcerated at the Marion County Jail as of this article’s publication.
Lorincz has been charged with manslaughter with a firearm and assault, per authorities.
The shooting reportedly stemmed from an ongoing dispute between Lorincz and Owens, who were neighbors. On the day of the shooting, Lorincz allegedly threw an object at Owens’ children, prompting the confrontation that would ultimately lead to Owens’ death.
Ajike Owens’ children were playing in a field near an apartment complex when a white woman yelled racial slurs at them and said to get off her land.
The children left behind an iPad which she stole. When one of the children came back to retrieve it she threw it at him and hit… pic.twitter.com/ckVMnSrP34
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) June 5, 2023
Assault & Battery Charges Not Filed As Well
However, the object did not strike the children, which would have been necessary to establish a battery charge.
Owens’ children, one of whom witnessed the deadly shooting, testified that they were never in fear, which also needed to be established for an additional assault charge.
“Accordingly, the legal requirements to establish the crimes of battery and assault cannot be met and those charges cannot be filed,” the state attorney said in the release. “The crime of misdemeanor culpable negligence was not filed because there is no evidence to establish that the defendant knew the child was with his mother when she shot the victim in this case.”
This is a developing story. Be sure to check in with The Shade Room for more updates as they come.