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Three facing murder charges in shooting of MMA fighter Arron Rajman

Three facing murder charges in shooting of MMA fighter Arron Rajman My rating: 4.9 out of 5

Three people — a 16-year-old girl and two 18-year-old men — have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a mixed martial arts fighter killed in his suburban Boca Raton home, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

Summer Church, Roberto Ortiz and Jace Swinton are also charged with two counts apiece of home invasion with a firearm or other deadly weapon.

Church, who lives in suburban Boca Raton, was arrested Friday morning as she was being driven to classes at Olympic Heights High School by her mother. Church is an 11th grader.

Ortiz, a Boynton Beach resident, and Swinton, who lives in Margate, were also arrested Friday and booked into the jail.

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Aaron Rajman, 25, was shot after several men entered his home at about 10:30 p.m. July 3, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. A fight broke out and Rajman was shot before the men fled. No mention was made by the sheriff’s office of a female participating in the shooting when it first reported the murder.

“I’m grateful they were caught,” Emily Imber, Rajman’s former girlfriend, said Friday. “I hope they get all of them. This has been devastating.”

Judith Church, Summer’s mother, said Friday that her daughter and Rajman became acquainted when they met in January at a convenience store in Boca Raton. Swinton, who was then dating Summer, also met Rajman and had been to his house.

In an interview with The Post, Judith Church said that on the day of the murder, Summer Church was forced at gunpoint by Ortiz and three other unidentified gunmen to call Rajman to see if he was home. Summer Church and a female friend were allowed out of the vehicle being used by the gunmen before they reached Rajman’s home and did not take part in the shooting, Judith Church said.

Summer Church cooperated with detectives, speaking to them for a total of 12 hours over three days, her mother said.

“She worked with them and gave them as much information as possible,” Judith Church said. “She wasn’t there. To charge her with first-degree murder doesn’t make sense.”

Judith Church said she was leaving her suburban Boca Raton community Friday morning with her daughter as a passenger when five unmarked PBSO vehicles intercepted her car and arrested Summer.

Church, Ortiz and Swinton are expected to make bond appearances this morning at the jail. All three defendants were indicted by a grand jury Thursday. Church will face charges as an adult.

“This was no random act of violence,” Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said in a statement issued Friday afternoon. “Mr. Rajman was targeted by these defendants, and we intend to seek justice for the victim and his family.”

Rajman, an Orthodox Jew, made his Mixed Martial Arts debut in April 2014 and had a 2-2 record as a professional. He was born in New York and moved with his family to Florida as a pre-schooler. A family friend said his parents later divorced, and for the past few years, he shared a home west of Boca Raton with his mother, his mother’s aunt and his younger brother.

According to the fight website Sherdog, Rajman was a 145-pound featherweight who trained at American Top Team in Coconut Creek and had an amateur record of 8-1. Another site, The Underground, also said he had an amateur record of 8-1.

Friends raised more than $27,500 on a GoFundMe.com account for Rajman’s funeral.

“He was always smiling, never had a bad day,” Lamar Brown, a 27-year-old lightweight who trained alongside Rajman, said shortly after his death. “But as nice as he was outside the cage, he was just as tough inside it.”

Court records show that Ortiz was arrested by PBSO deputies in January after he allegedly pointed a gun at a 16-year-old boy in suburban Lake Worth. During the incident, Ortiz allegedly punched and kicked a second person and fired a gun shot at a third.

The state attorney’s office decided not to file charges against Ortiz in that case on Jan. 26.

Staff writer Eliot Kleinberg and Lulu Ramadan contributed to this story.

 

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