White woman who killed Black neighbor will face manslaughter charges, state attorney confirms
Susan Lorincz, the Marion County woman accused of shooting and killing her neighbor, will face a manslaughter charge instead of second-degree murder.
The prosecutor on Monday announced he also dropped charges of misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor culpable negligence.
State Attorney William M. Gladson recognized the wishes of the family of the victim and community members to charge Lorincz, 58, with second-degree murder in a Monday morning press release, but said there was not enough evidence to convincingly prove “hatred, spite, ill will or evil intent toward the victim at the time of the killing.”
Lorincz was arrested on manslaughter charges four days after shooting and killing A.J. Owens, 35, on June 2.
“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.
If convicted of first-degree felony manslaughter, Lorincz faces up to 30 years in prison.
Sworn testimony from the victim’s children did not support the possible misdemeanor charges; Marion County sheriff’s deputies said Lorincz threw a skate at one of the children but did not strike him, which is a requirement for misdemeanor battery.
The other children testified that he was not in fear of Lorincz, which is a requirement for misdemeanor assault. The misdemeanor culpable negligence charge would have required Lorincz to know that one of the children was next to his mother when she shot through the door, for which there was no evidence.
Earlier Monday, the NAACP Marion County branch in a press conference called for every possible charge against Lorincz.
The branch’s president, Bishop James D. Stockton III, said he hoped for prosecution of the second-degree murder charge, too.
"We want to make sure that [we get] justice for AJ, and it sends a ripple effect around our community and our country that you just cannot kill Black folks and think that it’s all right and get away with it,” he said. “Four Black children in our nation have had their family ripped apart at the hands of white supremacy and hate.”
During the incident, Owens confronted Lorincz at her apartment door after Lorincz allegedly threw a skate at her children. Lorincz shot through the door, striking and killing Owens. The victim’s son, 10, was standing next to her at the time and witnessed the shooting.
According to arrest reports and sworn testimony by the victim’s children and neighbors, Lorincz frequently clashed with her neighbor’s children, ages 3 to 12, who played in a field next to her home. Lorincz admitted to using racial slurs and other insensitive language toward the children, telling police that she’d had trouble with the children for two years for “their lack of respect for her peace and privacy.”
Lorincz is scheduled for arraignment in court on July 11 at 9 a.m. in Ocala.