Victim: Sarah Ludemann (killed)
The accused: Rachel Wade

Ludemann

Sarah Ludemann

White female

Age at time: 18

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Undated family photo

 
Wade

Rachel Wade

White female

Age at time: 20

Weapon: knife

knife

Defendant photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, 2009

Case type:
Argument over love interest

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Victim

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2009

Location details: In the street less than half a mile from the victim's home in Pinellas Park, Pinellas County, on April 15, 2009

What happened: Rachel Wade stabbed a teen girl, Sarah Ludemann, after months of battling over the same boy. The night of the stabbing, Ludemann drove the family van to where she knew Wade would be. Ludemann got out of the van, fists balled, arms flailing. Wade walked toward her and jabbed a kitchen knife into her left shoulder, then pulled it out and thrust it into Ludemann's heart.

The outcome: A judge refused to drop second-degree murder charge. Wade was convicted at trial and sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Investigating agency: Pinellas Park Police

Case decision made by: Jury

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

Source: Tampa Bay Times, April 18, 2009. Link to original source

Source: Tampa Bay Times, July 18, 2010. Link to original source

Source: Tampa Bay Times, July 23, 2010.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 3, 2010. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013