Possible motive, suspects in MMA fighter's death - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Possible motive, suspects in MMA fighter's death

Could there be more suspects in the murder of Jewish MAA fighter Aaron Rajman? Was it a targeted attack? Newly released documents obtained by WPTV show the case detectives have built in the killing.

Summer Church, Jace Swinton, and Roberto Ortiz were indicted by a grand jury last year in the shooting death of Rajman. Investigators say gunmen entered his home on July 3 and killed him. 

Few details have been released in the case until now.


Illegal drugs found on Rajman's bedroom nightstand after his murder.

 

An inventory log shows deputies found marijuana, LSD, fentanyl, and psychadelic mushrooms in Rajman’s garage converted into a bedroom of the home at 22750 SW 65th Terrace. Rajman, 25, lived in the bedroom with his girlfriend, who told detectives she was home at the time of the murder

Rajman’s girlfriend said she dated him for about a year and that he sold marijuana. She said many people would come to the home every day to buy drugs. 

On July 3, the two came home from dinner at Landlubbers in Coconut Creek when Church called Rajman. Church asked Rajman if he was home and wanted to smoke. Rajman said no and Church hung up immediately.

Rajman’s brother, Jackson, told investigators three black men in hoodies came in through the back door. They told him to be quiet and searched the home.

Moments later, Rajman’s girlfriend saw an armed black male slowly open the bedroom door. The man came into the room and said, “Where’s the s**t?” Rajman tried getting a gun away from him but was shot several times during the fight, his girlfriend said in the report.

A second man, described by the girlfriend as matching Ortiz’s description, came into the room and said, “Don’t f***ing touch me.”

She said she dialed 911 but the man pointed a gun at her and took her phone. The call was still open and being recorded by 911. A third man was standing outside the bedroom. The men took things from the room and then left. 


Rajman's martial arts sword found in front of a neighbor's yard. His sister told investigators he won the sword in a competition.

Deputies found Rajman’s ID and cellphone, his martial arts sword, and baggies with drugs in the road and front lawns of nearby homes.

Detectives reported finding bullet casings in the kitchen and near the entrance to the garage. 
A dry erase board above the nightstand had “the menu: grape ape, tesla tower, and grapefruit” written on it.

A cooler believed to have held the drugs was rummaged through, along with furniture in the room. Photos taken by crime scene investigators show illegal drugs found in the home in bags and boxes. Rajman’s sister said he had about $15,000 in cash in his room that was not found after the robbery. 

Rajman’s girlfriend ran out of the house towards a deputy when they first arrived and directed them to the garage. Deputies found Rajman’s brother performing CPR on him. Rajman was on his back, unresponsive, and without a pulse. 

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue pronounced him deceased at 10:38 p.m. An autopsy report shows he was shot four times, in the chin, neck, back, and shoulder. 

"There were always cars coming and going from the house," said Sean Hallman, who lives across the street from the home where Rajman lived. "Come stop by five to 10 minutes, go on their way."

Neighbors told WPTV they knew the shooting wasn't random. "You saw the same cars come by, the regulars I suppose," Hallman said. 

“We’re drug dealers, we have a lot of s**t,” Rajman’s brother said when investigators asked him why he thought the men might have been there. He said their home was recently burglarized and had marijuana stolen.

Days later, PBSO executed a search warrant at the suburban West Palm Beach home of Ortiz. Ortiz was taken into custody for questioning and a gray Nissan Altima was impounded.


Bags with Rajman's handwriting on them found with illegal drugs inside.

Drugs and paraphernalia found in the home matched items taken from Rajman ’s house. 

A firearm was found under a mattress in a bedroom in the home. Next to the firearm were documents from the court case of another man that lived in the home who is a convicted felon. Ammunition reportedly was found under a baby’s clothing.

The man was named in documents as the “prime homicide suspect.” He has not been charged with the murder.

Two months later, he was arrested for a felon in possession of a handgun. He was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on bond and was arrested again in December for burglary. He’s now being held in jail.

Rajman’s girlfriend was unable to identify suspects when investigators gave her a photo lineup of people.

Investigators spoke with Church and Swinton several times in the months leading up to their arrest.

Chruch’s mother brought her and Swinton to detectives because they were “scared and wanted to provide information on who was responsible for the murder of Aaron Rajman.”

Church told detectives a few days after the murder that she was at a friend’s house close to Rajamn’s house with her boyfriend, Swinton, the documents reveal.

Church and Swinton’s descriptions of the night was redacted from the report. Swinton did say Ortiz was a passenger in the Nissan on the night of the homicide when Ortiz told him to get into the car. 


Swinton, Ortiz, and Church's Palm Beach County Jail booking photos.

Interviews with witnesses detail a plan by Church, Swinton, Ortiz and a few other people to rob Rajman. Some said said Church talked to them about “hitting a lick,” robbing someone, on the day of the murder.
Detectives obtained a DNA search warrant for another man.

Church was arrested when she was driving home with her mother on Sept. 1. Ortiz and Swinton were arrested on the same day.  

The next court date for Church, Ortiz and Swinton is scheduled for Sept. 5. 

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