Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder
On September 3, 2010 Rachel Wade is scheduled to receive her prison sentence after being found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder. Minimum sentence for this 20 year old girl is 20.5 years in prison. Ms.Wade, who was 19 at the time of the incident, claimed self defense in the stabbing death of 18 year old Sarah Ludemann on April 15, 2009. The two girls had been rivals for the affections of Joshua Camacho, who was 20 at the time, over an extended period before the stabbing incident.
During the trial, which was aired live on In Session on TruTv, voice mails that had been saved on Sarah Ludemann’s phone were played for the jury. Voice Mails left by Rachel Wade containing foul language and threats again Ms. Ludemann. Ms. Wade had not saved any emails or voice mails left for her by Ms. Ludemann so the jury of 5 men and 1 woman had only heard the venom from one side of the rivalry.
Ms. Wade cried off and on throughout the trial and especially during her testimony when explaining why she had taken a kitchen knife to a friend’s house for protection and how the stabbing had occurred. As expected, Ms. Ludemann’s friends gave testimony against Ms. Wade and vice versa.
The main problems with Ms. Wade’s self defense plea were that she had brought the knife with her as a show of force, that she met Ms. Ludemann in the street for the confrontation and the recorded voice mail where she actually used the threat ‘murder you’ in the message.
Many people are of the opinion that Ms. Wade should serve some jail time for her actions; but feel that 20.5 years as a minimum with the possibility of a life sentence as maximum Is extreme. If the defense had been able to show that the threats and harassment were happening on both sides they may have been in a better position to prove self defense. If the defense had been able to introduce the police reports that had been filed throughout the rivalry of harassment on both sides; that may have also made a difference.
The defense also felt that a different jury may have come back with another verdict. The jury of 5 men and 1 woman reportedly had no members in the age range of the defendant or the victim. Although the voice mails that were played for the jury over and over were full of profanity, the defense claims that kids talk like that. An older jury may have been more shocked or put off than a jury of her peers might have been.
Some people were very shocked that 2 girls would have a rivalry over a boy to the point that one would kill the other; especially over a boy who wasn’t involved exclusively with either of them and who had a child with a third woman, Erin Slothower. Mr. Camacho referred to his relationship with the young women as a ‘friends with benefits’ situation.
Ms. Ludemann’s family lost an 18 year old girl who had her whole life ahead of her and Ms. Wade’s family will spend at least the next 20 years visiting her behind bars.
Learning From Tragedy
The story of these two young women is very tragic. Please don’t misunderstand my comments; I think Ms. Wade should have some form of punishment for taking a life. I just don’t believe everything was as one sided as it appeared in the courtroom. The trouble between these young women had been going on for many months before the final confrontation.
Both women were in the wrong with the harassment and threats of violence that went on for months before the fight that ended Ms. Ludemann's life. Something should have been done to end their rivalry long before it escalated into this kind of senseless violence. The responsibility for that should rest on the shoulders of Mr. Camacho. From what has been reported, he encouraged the girls to fight for him and kept the rivalry going.
Ms. Ludemann did seek out Ms. Wade for a confrontation on the night she died. Ms. Wade didn’t attempt to avoid the confrontation. Both young women were responsible for the events that night. As horrible as it is that one of the women died, I do think without some type of intervention that this type of violence was inevitable.
Ms. Wade should spend some time in jail but I don’t feel that 20.5 years will do anything to rehabilitate her into a productive member of society. If the sentencing were in my hands, I would sentence her to 5 years in prison where she would receive counseling to understand what happened and why it happened. Before her release, I would require her to earn a college degree that would allow her to find employment. Following her time in jail, I would put her on probation for 10 years. One of the conditions of her probation would be to speak to teen girls who are at risk; girls who may have problems in school with fighting or antisocial behavior.
Young men and women need to be taught respect for themselves and each other. Name calling and threats of violence only aggravate an already tense situation. At one time, bullying and harassment were not taken as a serious issues by authorities and shrugged off as kids being kids. Those days are long over. Often, bullying and harassment now lead to violence and sometimes murder. From this tragedy there are lessons that may help keep other young people from ending up dead or in prison.
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julie on September 04, 2013:
this is why mothers need to teach girls no boy is worth their life !!!!! I think the sister and her friend lied on the stand my GOD have mercy on the two of them
ldparker10 on September 09, 2010:
this was obviously a horrible tragedy, but i dont think she should have got so long in prison. by the sounds of it, the blame could be shared around to many people
Billy Akerman from USA on September 09, 2010:
What a shame for both of these families. My heart goes out to the family of the victim.
lori on September 07, 2010:
Rachel Wade should not spend 27 years of her life in prison, if she can use this experience to make a difference and keep a tragedy from happening then she should be given the opportunity. I agree with the person who said let her speak to at-risk teens and share what she has learned through this experience. She should have been given 10 years and 5 years probation including community service working with at-risk teens and given a chance to prove she has learned something out of all this, sharing it with others who may be involved in the same situation. If she fails to comply with the terms of her probation, then let her serve the remainder of time in prison. We can become part of the solution, not part of the problem. She was rebellious, self-centered, and wanted to be in control, but she wanted to be in control of the wrong thing. We have to be in control of ourselves before we can attempt to be in control of anything else. Self-control, which she obviously lacked is a special tool we all have to possess in order to make wise decisions and handle a situation properly. This will help Rachel later, but she deserves a chance for it to. We can not change actions we take in the past, we can only work to maintain better control in our future. Forgiveness plays a key role in the healing process for both of these families. They both lost their children, just in different forms.
Kim on September 06, 2010:
It is not just to hold this young women from a life for so long...I know i made many many many poor decisions at that young age... If she really wanted to kill Sarah, why would she simply grab a small kitchen knife? Give me a break.... She surely could find a gun or other weapon and do it in a different setting....
The prosecuting attorney was so cruel and I do not find myself thinking much of her attitude and especially her voice... She was a real creep in my opinion...Hope she can sleep at night...She is a rotten person.
Christine Mulberry on September 06, 2010:
I can understand your feeling that 20 years or so may be harsh. In addition, I agree that getting an education and making something of her life is important. That's rehabilitation versus punishment. On the other hand, she's made a VERY serious mistake, one that cost someone their life. I don't feel a few years in jail and a gift of a new life is in order. I could agree on a sentence of five years in jail and another 5 years getting and paying for her own education in a supervised environment, and then 5-10 years giving back to the community. (But the key is she EARNS it, it's not a gift) She needs to prove she's worthy of our trust as she has proven she isn't worthy of it up to this point.
I don't agree with the commenters who say her punishment should just be living with the fact she killed an innocent person. If she doesn't have a conscience, that will be of no use whatsoever.
Personally I don't buy the bit about young people just talk this way. I have no doubt that some do, they need to learn better or these kinds of things will result. I know plenty of young people who would never talk this way or behave this way.
Anyway, just my opinion not a criticism of anyone's views.
Wife Who Saves on September 04, 2010:
Ms. Wade willingly took a knife with her and she willingly entered into the confrontation. Her sentence is fair. Also, I do not believe the taxpayers should pay for her college education when respectable and hardworking people are denied that opportunity.
georgia on September 03, 2010:
Pick up a weapon to do harm and you must be willing to pay the price.
Cenla on September 03, 2010:
I don't condone anyone taking anothers life and especially this case of Rachel Wade and Sarah Ludemann..The world is a violent place and as long as there is evil in the world, there is going to be crime. The murder of Sarah Ludemann was a senseless one and Rachel Wade carried out a promise she had made months prior. I thing the judge's decision was fair.
Vegas on September 03, 2010:
She has threatened the life of her room mate in jail
I say never let her see the light of day
John Doe on September 03, 2010:
Their never no right for taking another person life, but why throw another in jail for life, The recidivism rate for this girl to returned to jail, is not possible, so why not use this girl as a tool for society, i believe the most extreme punishment for this young lady, is living with it for the rest of her life, knowing that she took an innocent life. And no she dose not deserve life in prison with out parole.
bambam261981 on September 03, 2010:
This trick needs a real ass kickin! once you take a life that what you should get"LIFE"!no one should have the power to take ones life!she only got 27 years with time served! are you crazy! kids these day think their untouchable, and for what, OVER A GUY! hasn't anyone tought these girls to be happy by themselves. no guy will ever make you happy alone. i know of people going to jail for a longer sentences over stealing then murder and she doesn't even show that she cares about what she did! she only cared that she got caught!i would put you in the hole and only give you bread and water and then you'll understand what she did! by the way judge we mature faster then boys and she is an adult not a child an adult!!!
Tthomas on September 03, 2010:
This case is twofold.. A murder was committed my Ms. Wade and in the heat of anger things are said that are not meant. Weather Ms. wade wanted to actually kill Sarah at the time of the incident...we will never really know.. Should she be punished for her crime..Yes. Is life with the possiblilty of parole warranted.. I don't think so. Ms Wade will have to live with her self and twenty years in prison along with continuous community service for the youth of the community.. Should be the punishment. This will not allow her to ever forget the crime she committed. Putting her in Prison for life is not going to bring back Sarah... If God were like people we would all be in serious trouble. He forgave us for our sins and we should be able to do likewise.. However ther is the one element... WE are only human...There have been other that have done worst several times over.
So yes she should be punished but not for LIFE.
cbear on September 03, 2010:
GIRLS AND GUYS !!!!WAKE UP AND MOVE ON, IS ANYONE WORTH THIS VIOLENCE TO STAY WITH SOMEONE YOU THINK YOU LOVE. AT THIS YOUNG AGE YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR. GET YOURSELF OUT OF A SITUATION LIKE THIS. AND YES I AGREE WITH OTHER COMMENTS 20 YEARS FOR MURDER??WHERE IS THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. WOULD SHE DO THIS AGAIN?????
lamia on August 09, 2010:
i think she should get life and jail not just 20 years because when her time is up she can get free but ludmann can never get up out her grave and that should make them want to keep her in there longer