Boca Raton, FL – A 16 year old high school student is one of three teenagers who were taken into custody and charged in the death of an Orthodox Jewish mixed martial arts fighter.
The Palm Beach Post (http://pbpo.st/2vBCj9K)reported that Summer Church was being driven to school by her mother on Friday morning when she was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office in the July 3rd death of Aaron Rajman.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2vCgibb), the 25 year old was shot in his West Boca Raton home after an argument with several unidentified men.
Also arrested on Friday were 18 year old Jace Swinton of Margate and 18 year old Roberto Ortiz of Boynton Beach who had been previously arrested in January for allegedly pointing a gun at a 16 year old, kicking a second person and firing a gun at a third individual.
Church, Swinton and Ortiz were charged with two counts each of home invasion with a firearm or other deadly weapon.
According to Church’s mother Judith, her daughter had been dating Swinton when she first met Rajman at a Boca Raton convenience store in January. Swinton and Rajman also became acquainted, with Swinton visiting Rajman at his home.
Judith Church said that on the day of Rajman’s death, her daughter was in Ortiz’s car with a female friend and was forced at gunpoint by Oritz and three other men to call Rajman and see if he was at home. After the phone call to Rajman was placed, the two girls were reportedly let out of the car before the remaining occupants traveled to Rajman’s home, according to Church.
Initial reports from the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s office said only that several men were present in Rajman’s home at the time of his death, according to the Palm Beach Post (http://pbpo.st/2vBTVT1).
Summer Church, an eleventh grader at Olympic Heights High School, is being charged as an adult in Rajman’s murder. Church’s mother said that she is mystified that her daughter, who spoke with detectives for 12 hours over a period of three days, is being held accountable for Rajman’s death.
“She wasn’t there,” said Judith Church. “To charge her with first degree murder doesn’t make sense.”
A statement released by Dave Aronberg, a state attorney for Palm Beach County, said that Rajman had been deliberately targeted by all three defendants.
Emily Imber, who had been in a five year relationship with Rajman, said that she was happy to see charges being brought in the case.
“I am grateful they were caught,” said Imber. “I hope they get all of them.”
Rajman, who wore his yarmulka into the ring before a fight, had made a name for himself in the MMA world by upholding his religious principles, refusing to fight on Saturdays, a prime day in the fighting world and earning the respect of promoters who reportedly went out of their way to accommodate him.
According to a GoFundMe campaign setup in his memory, Rajman had hoped to launch an initiative this fall in conjunction with local law enforcement and security professionals that would give teens a dose of Jewish pride and self confidence.
The StreetSmart Program, which is being unveiled in Rajman’s memory, will teach teens in schools, community centers and synagogues how to defend themselves in real life situations using a combination of self defense skills, common sense and situational awareness.