Three people accused in the murder of MMA fighter “The Matzoh Brawler” – including a 16-year-old girl – were denied bail Saturday after being charged in the killing during a Florida home invasion in July.
The girl, Summer Church, of Boca Raton, and 18-year-olds Roberto Ortiz, of Boynton Beach, and Jace Swinton, of Margate, are facing first-degree murder charges as adults in the July 3 shooting death of 25-year-old mixed martial arts fighter Aaron Rajman, an Orthodox Jew. They appeared before a judge in West Palm Beach.
Judi Church, who went to her daughter’s arraignment, has told local media that cops are accusing Summer of being the mastermind, but she says her daughter is an innocent victim who was used to set-up Rajman.
She told the Florida Sun-Sentinel that a group of men that inlcuded Ortiz and Swinton forced her daughter at gunpoint to get in a car and call Rajman to see if he was home.
"They made Summer get in the car, and they made her make that phone call," Church told the paper.
She said her daughter was not a bad kid, that she was trying to do good in school and that she wants to go to nursing school when she graduates 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 said, according to the paper.
The mother told the Palm Beach Post that Summer and Rajman were acquaintances who met in January at a convenience store. She said at the time her daughter was dating Swinton.
Church also told the paper that her daughter wasn’t at the scene when Rajman was killed.
Summer’s arrest Friday occurred as her mother was driving her to school, according to the paper. She is an 11th grader at Olympic Heights High School.
Rajman had a 2-2 record since becoming a professional fighter.
“I’m grateful they were caught,” Rajman’s girlfriend Emily Imber told the Post. “I hope they get all of them. This has been devastating.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.