FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Family members of the two women killed in a double homicide are torn after one of the suspects pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Back in April, Jennifer Ann Dray, 40, and Amanda Lee Shroyer, 30, were killed at a home on the 800 block of Third Street in Fort Wayne.
Marina Zrnic, 32, was one of the people arrested in the double killing and originally faced charges of felony murder and attempted robbery. On Tuesday she entered a guilty plea to attempted robbery as a level two felony. If the plea is accepted by Judge Fran Gull, Zrnic’s sentence will be 10 to 15 years.
Betty Davis, who is Shroyer’s mother, and Carlina Dray Shock, who is Dray’s sister, are still devastated over the entire situation but pushing to get justice for their loved ones.
Standing outside the home where their loved ones were killed, they explained their decision to WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee. Davis said that Zrnic needs to be held accountable for all the charges, but they agreed to the plea because they need Zrnic to identify the shooter.
“We really needed her as a character witness for the case,” said Dray Shock using American Sign Language interpreted by Davis. “It was really hard but we decided to go ahead and take that plea because our main focus was to get all three individuals for the crime they committed.”
Davis added she still has a lot of anger towards Zrnic because she was the one who brought the other suspect, Ronald W. Price, 48, to the house the day of the shooting. According to court documents, Zrnic claims she brought him there as a “bodyguard” and said he was the one who shot the women. Price is facing several charges including two counts of murder and two counts of felony murder.
According to court documents, Joshua J. Dube, was also there and is charged with two counts of felony murder. He’s already in jail for other crimes.
Davis recalled the night her daughter was killed. She received a phone call from a pastor at Parkview Health. She was informed they had someone who they believed to be her daughter and needed her to be identified. Davis said when she made it to the hospital, the staff told her she couldn’t touch Amanda or scream.
“I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, not to able to touch your daughter because they needed the evidence,” cried Davis. “It was the hardest thing to do, not being able to hold my child when she’s in that situation and I can’t protect her, but now I am trying to get justice for her. She’s my first born, and I’ve never not been able to have access to my child.”
This holiday season has been extremely difficult for both families. For Davis, just the thought of her daughter not walking through the door for Thanksgiving or Christmas made reality set in more.
“My daughter always came. She always came over, ate what she could, and still plates went with her,” laughed Davis. “She loved the holidays. She loved sharing and enjoying memories and doing those simple things that make you take a look back and think ‘Oh, that was important. That was a special moment.'”
Fighting through tears, Davis shared a story about how her Amanda dressed up as Wonder Woman for one of her friend’s daughter’s birthday parties. While reflecting, she said her daughter truly was Wonder Woman, because of the way she used to help others in need.
“The spontaneity, her friendship, her love for life,” Davis said. “There was one year when no one was going to do anything for my birthday, she went out of her way. She made it, she didn’t know how to cook, she got better, but at that time, she didn’t know how to cook and it was a hot mess, but she did that for me,” laughed Davis.
Dray Shock remembers her sister as her protector. She said Jennifer learned how to do sign language at the age of three, and was her main interpreter while growing up. The memories of her sister she holds closest are the family cookouts and family gatherings.
“If kids tried to bully me about me being deaf she would confront them and tell them ‘Stay away from my sister. She’s not incapable. She can’t hear,'” Dray Shock said. “She wanted to be an interpreter, but that didn’t pan out.”
Zrinc is expected to be sentenced in March of 2022.
Price’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 12.
Dube’s jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 1.