Three teenagers accused of killing an MMA fighter will be held in jail without bail, a judge decided on Saturday, Sept. 2.
The three Florida teens were identified as Summer Church, a 16-year old girl and—Roberto Ortiz and Jace Swinton—both 18-year-old men. The group is facing first-degree murder charges as adults, Fox News reported.
The group appeared before a judge in West Palm Beach over the July 3 shooting of 25-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, Aaron Rajman.
Although Church was not at the scene when the MMA fighter was killed during the home invasion, police said she was the mastermind behind the murder. Church, an 11th-grader at Olympic Heights High School was arrested on her way to school on Friday, Sept. 1, Palm Beach Post a Florida newspaper reported.
A first-degree murder charge is a capital offense, punishable by the death penalty in Florida. But the penalty would only apply to Ortiz and Swinton in this case since the death penalty is not administered to criminals under 18 years old.
The mother of Summer Church, Judi Church, however, told the local newspaper her daughter was innocent. She claimed that the other men forced her daughter at gunpoint to get in a car to call Rajman so they could check if he was home.
“They made Summer get in the car, and they made her make that phone call,” Judi told Palm Beach post.
When the two teenage men entered Ramjan’s home a fight broke out. Rajman was fatally shot before the men fled the scene.
The mother said her daughter was not a bad girl just trying to do good in high school.
“The state attorney needed to arrest somebody, and they decided she was the criminal mastermind behind all this even though she told them everything she knows,” she told the paper.
Judi Church also said that her daughter knew Rajman—they met earlier in January at a convenience store.
At the time Summer was dating Swinton.
Church also disagreed with her daughter being tried as an adult, “She should have been with the juveniles because she is a juvenile,” she told the newspaper.
Rajman first debuted in the MMA back in April 2014 and had a 2-2 record as a professional. He was born in New York.