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Judge orders a trial in Pinellas Park love triangle death

CLEARWATER — A circuit court judge ruled Tuesday that Rachel M. Wade, 20, will have to stand trial for killing Sarah R. Ludemann, 18, last April outside a Pinellas Park home.

Judge Joseph A. Bulone rejected defense lawyer Jay Hebert's argument that Wade should not be prosecuted because she acted in self-defense under the "Stand Your Ground" law, and that second-degree murder charges should be dropped.

"She's waiting there with a knife for something to happen," Bulone said. "It's almost like Clint Eastwood saying, 'Go ahead, make my day.' "

The girls had been battling for months over 19-year-old Joshua Camacho, whom they both had been seeing. Both had gone to Pinellas Park High, but they mainly knew each other through Camacho.

Camacho also had fathered a child with another girl. And Wade said he told her, "If you love me enough, you'll fight for me."

Just after midnight on April 15, Wade, then 19, was in the front yard of a male friend's house when Ludemann pulled up in a minivan with two females. Ludemann got out and approached Wade. Wade walked toward her, witnesses said, wielding a knife.

Wade, who is in the Pinellas County Jail on $500,000 bail, testified that she had grabbed the knife from her kitchen only for protection. She said she never meant to stab anyone.

The judge scheduled her trial for July 20.

Judge orders a trial in Pinellas Park love triangle death 03/31/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 12:00am]
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