Family of slain woman sues company that made apartment lock

A judge will??decide if a lock company is partially to blame for the rape and murder of a woman in a downtown Orlando apartment.??

ORLANDO, Fla. — A judge will decide if a lock company is partially to blame for the rape and killing of a woman in a downtown Orlando apartment.

Sasha Samsudean was found dead at the Uptown Apartments on Orange Avenue in 2015.

Samsudean’s parents filed a lawsuit against Spectrum Brands, which manufactured the lock on Samsudean’s door.

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Their attorney is trying to convince Judge Luis Calderon that the lock on Samsudean’s downtown Orlando apartment was defective, and that’s possibly how Stephen Duxbury, the man convicted of killing her, got inside.

At a hearing Monday, attorney Samantha Duke, representing Spectrum Brands, the lock's manufacturer, said there’s no way to know for sure because the lock was never collected as evidence by Orlando police and it was thrown away by the owner of the unit when a new tenant moved in.

“Without that product, it’s impossible for the plaintiff to prove that any defect with the subject lock was the cause of Sasha Samsudean’s death,” she said.

Samsudean’s attorney fired back, saying Spectrum Brands knew its product was defective, citing a new article that describes how someone could beat the lock in a matter of seconds with something as simple as a screwdriver.

At the time of Samsudean’s death, there hadn’t been a recall on the lock.

Cellphone records show Samsudean’s killer searched for and read the article before her death.

“They were aware of their defect and they could’ve said something to the police, but naturally, they wouldn’t want to say, ‘Hey, just so you know, that design, we know millions of those are broken into, so you might want to save that for your case,’” said Maegen Luka, who represents the Samsudean family.