September 3rd, 2010
04:02 PM ET

Woman gets 27 years in murder of romantic rival

Rachel Wade testifies at her July trial that she killed a romantic rival in self-defense.

Rachel Wade, 20, was sentenced to 27 years in prison Friday after being convicted of second-degree murder in the stabbing of a romantic rival.

The Pinellas Park, Florida, case stemmed from the two women competing over the affection of Josh Camacho, 21, who, according to "In Session," was sleeping with both of them and had a son with a third.

Wade could have received life in prison, but Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Joseph A. Bulone said he wouldn't hand it down because of her age and lack of maturity, The Tampa Tribune reported. He said, however, that her lack of remorse demanded a lengthy sentence.

Read CNN's full coverage

Wade testified during her trial in July that she stabbed 18-year-old Sarah Ludemann only after Ludemann hit her three times in the head during a fight. Ludemann, who was unarmed, died at the scene after being stabbed twice in the chest.

In an exclusive interview with "In Session," Wade said she felt that God and Ludemann had forgiven her.

The jury didn't buy Wade's claim that she acted in self-defense, returning its verdict after fewer than three hours of deliberation.

Wade, at 5-foot-4 and 110 pounds, had no criminal record and testified that she had never been in a fight before. She said she went to a friend's house with a knife only after being told that 5-foot-9, 166-pound Ludemann was heading to her home.

Instead, Ludemann and her friends found her outside the friend's house.

"I didn't think they would attack me if they saw the knife," she said.

During cross-examination, Wade acknowledged having thrown the knife into a neighboring yard, but said, "I didn't know what happened, and I didn't want anybody else to get hold of it."

Prosecutor Lisset G. Hanewicz was not persuaded.

"Why get rid of it if you are acting in self-defense?" she asked in a closing argument. "She wanted to get rid of the evidence. She showed no remorse. She knew she stabbed her."

Also damning to Wade's claim of self-defense was a taped threat the prosecution played in court.

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soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. shelly

    May god b with his family n times like these may he give them strength!!!!

    September 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Elise

    Sarah wasn't "her boyfriend's rival". She was HER RIVAL...Rachel's!!!!! That doesn't even make sense. How do these people get jobs writing for CNN?? I don't get it!

    September 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pamela

    She got 27 but no one ever does the whole sentence. She will get out on parole after a few years and go on with her life. But she will have to live with the fact that she took someones daughter away. I hope she will always remember those parents pain and pray for them. I pray for everyone involved.

    September 5, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. terry

    The evidence of a successful standoff is that both parties live to fight another day, or gain wisdom and walk away from ignorance and all of its forms.When parents stop dictating to their kids,they will grow up knowing how to negotiate life without the possibility of prison.

    September 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dasien

    20 years old now,and 47 by the time she's released from prison;sounds like a life sentence to me.The man who knew what was happening between these two women and did nothing to prevent an altercation.He will go on living his life with the woman of his child without any feelings of guilt or remorse.I cant imagine him raising that child to be better than himself; instead,a mirrored version of himself is forth coming.Woe!

    September 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hmm!

    i just hope rachel wade gets counseling so she can get rehabilitated.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. irishgirl

    I think the boy should be held accountable for something like maybe all the emotional and mental abuse that goes along with having a relationship with more than one girl at a time. being a woman that has been cheated on and lied to by someone i loved and trusted i can tell u that it honestly does f#*k with your head and makes u feel crazy at times. im not saying that her actions were right...killing someone is wrong thats the bottom line. but she had been tortured by her boyfriend emotionaly and mentaly so where is his punishment. that girl is dead because of his selfish ways.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. adajo

    I agee with the sentence if she actually serves it. Rachel had other choices, there were 2 guys to help her if the 3 girls jumped her . She said she went there for protection so why did she take a knife? Both guys knew she had a knife & intended to use it. They could have stopped it but that wasn't what Rachel wanted. These girls were not 12& 13 year olds. Joshua was the same age as the girls. They allowed him to treat them the way he did, He didn't kill anyone or force them to stay in that situation. Rachel (AN ADULT) made bad choices that ruined her life, her parent's life, & destoyed Sarah parent's life. I taught my children at a young age, before you do the act, think of the consequences & decide if it's worth it.

    September 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DCM

    Sad all around, but you have to acknowledge that the victim was not totally without some blame. I wonder what the parents of the best friend, as well as the victim's parents were thinking letting them stay out so late on a school night? Both had yet to graduate high school and were out past midnight on a Wednesday?

    September 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
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