Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Zimmerman-Martin murder was shrouded in controversy which stemmed from the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law, which says that people are entitled to use deadly force to defend themselves. Three years before this murder, another murder was shrouded in controversy due to the same law. 19-year-old Rachel Wade had recently broken up with her boyfriend, Joshua Camacho, who then began to date 18-year-old Sarah Ludemann, much to Wade’s dismay. Their relationship was a tempestuous one - they got into confrontations in public and had been warned about their behaviour by the police on numerous occasions and Camacho even once punched Ludemann in the face but she refused to press charges. Wade and Camacho became romantically involved once again and this was when a rivalry between Wade and Ludemann began. Wade and Ludemann began to leave insulting and threatening voicemails on one another’s phones and Ludemann even began showing up at Wade’s place of work to taunt her.

On 14 April, 2009, Wade was in her apartment waiting for Camacho to arrive but instead, he went to see Ludemann. Wade decided she would take her dog for a walk and while walking, she heard a car honking at her and reported that it was Ludemann, who yelled “Stay away from my man!” Being much more petite than Ludemann, Wade was worried that Ludemann would come to her home, so she called an ex-boyfriend, Javier, and asked him to keep her company - he invited her to his house. She left her house but not before grabbing a steak knife and putting it in her purse, she claimed for protection. At around 23:00pm, Wade walked past Camacho’s house and saw Camacho and Ludemann through the window. Enraged, she text him saying “Now, I know why you’re not talking to me - because you have her.” Camacho replied telling her that he wasn’t interested in her anymore and that she should go home. Later in the night, Ludemann went to confront Wade at Javier’s house. A witness later testified that Ludemann sped up to the house, slammed on the breaks, almost hitting Wade with her car, and stormed out with her fists produced like she was ready to fight. As she came closer, Wade reportedly stabbed her through the heart. Wade claimed she had taken the knife to defend herself and stabbed Ludemann because she was afraid of what she was going to do. Another witness testified that Wade had stabbed Ludemann before she even exited the car and recordings of Wade’s threatening phone calls were played to the jury and these things together were enough for the jury to find her guilty. She was sentenced to 27 years.

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