Crime

Marine Charged With Killing 20-Year-Old Woman In Alleged Road Rage Incident

| by Jordan Smith

An active marine was arrested at his base in Yuma, Arizona, on Jan. 5 and charged with shooting dead a female college student on Jan. 1.

Corporal Eric Johnson, 20, is being held in an Arizona jail awaiting extradition to Texas, where the incident occurred, according to Daily Mail.

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The victim was Sara Mutschlechner, 20, a junior at the University of North Texas studying radio, television and film.

Serving as the designated driver, Mutschlechner was taking some friends home from a New Year’s party, according to police. A black SUV pulled up alongside them, and the suspects exchanged words with Mutschlechner and her passengers.

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Tensions reportedly rose when a comment was made about the female passengers.

Two or three rounds were fired at the vehicle, ABC News reports. Mutschlechner lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an electricity poll.

“This is senseless and tragic,” Sara’s father, Clay Mutschlechner, told KDFW.

“I couldn’t go to sleep,” Sara's mother, Gloria, said. “All I could think about was her and this horrible thing that happened to her. She did not deserve this.”

When police arrived on the scene, they found Sara on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head, according to ABC News. She was taken to a hospital and placed on life support, but died later on Jan. 1.

“We’re all going to miss her,” Clay said. “Some people don’t get to have their kids 20 years. We have to be blessed with what we’ve had with our time spent.”

A female passenger in Sara’s vehicle broke her collar bone during the incident, the Daily Mail reports.

UNT extended its condolences. 

“The university is saddened by the loss of one of our community members,” UNT spokeswoman Margarita Venegas told ABC News. “Our thoughts are with Sara’s family and friends.”

Sara was also a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority at UNT.

“Each and every one of our lives at the Gamma Phi Chapter of ZTA has been touched by the spunky, selfless attitude of our beloved sister, Sara,” chapter president Jordan Roberts said on the sorority’s Facebook page. “She is by far one of the most spirited, honest and fun-loving people I ever had the privilege to know. She will truly be missed.”

Police say their investigation is ongoing, with surveillance footage of the dispute from a nearby business being reviewed, according to the Daily Mail.

Sources: KDFW, Daily Mail, ABC News / Photo credit: Daily Mail