Woman accused of killing boyfriend said she meant to scare him, not shoot him

SANFORD, Fla. — A woman accused of shooting and killing her boyfriend in Sanford early Tuesday morning said she wasn’t trying to kill him.

Natalia Fulton, 26, is charged with manslaughter after deputies said she shot her boyfriend, Aaron Payne, 41, in the middle of the street during an argument with what she said she thought was a BB gun.

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According to court documents, Fulton told investigators she thought the gun was a BB gun, and claimed she just meant to scare Payne but not kill him.

Fulton faced a judge over a cellphone from her jail cell at the Seminole County Jail Wednesday afternoon, as she made her first court appearance on a charge of homicide negligent manslaughter of Payne.

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Investigators said they found Payne dead in the middle of Muddy Lane early Tuesday morning covered in blood, and witnesses identified Fulton as the shooter.

After Fulton was arrested, she told investigators that Payne hopped on his bicycle and attempted to leave with her belongings. She grabbed for one of the bags, and it dropped to the ground, revealing what she believed to be a BB gun. She said she grabbed the gun, pointed it at Payne trying to scare him into stopping, but inadvertently pulled the trigger, shooting him in the neck.

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She told investigators that she ran over to check on him, but got scared and left.

“I never honestly never thought in a million years that Natalia would kill him … She loved him deeply, at least from what I gathered, and then, as far as he’s concerned, he loved her just as much if not more,” said Amanda Zenaty, a friend of the couple.

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Zenaty said she knew they were having issues, but didn’t think something like this would happen. She said she will miss her friend Aaron, who she called kind and generous.

“He was just (a) good friend; solid dude,” Zenaty said. “I’m honestly really going to miss it. Last time I talked to him was on Dec. 29 and he wanted to let me know that he was proud of me and cared about me, (was) happy that (I) was doing so good.”

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The judge held Fulton on $60,000 bond. If she posts bond, she will have to wear a GPS monitor.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.