JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a Jacksonville preschool teacher who was shot and killed last year said justice is finally being served after the 20-year-old's boyfriend, who had told police she took her own life, was charged with her murder.
Sean Lovins, 27, told police Aunesty Hite shot herself while he was asleep, but evidence later pointed to Lovins firing the fatal bullet, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
“I knew that she would never do anything like that,” Hite's sister, Legacy Gower, said.
Gower said her sister had been dating Lovins a few months before she was killed in July 2017. He is now charged with second-degree murder in her death.
“She was very kind. She definitely didn’t deserve what happened,” Gower said. "She had such an amazing soul. She was so nice, and she was so wonderful."
Hite was a preschool teacher at Calvary Christian Junior Academy and had a brief marriage. Her ex-husband posted to Facebook, saying that he hopes justice will be swift and that Hite is never forgotten.
Gower said her sister was her role model and the two (pictured together) had a strong relationship.
“We have always been really close since we were younger,” she said. "She could walk into a room and it would light up. Her smile could make anyone’s day better."
Now Gower and the rest of her family must relive their loss as they await the trial of her accused killer.
“It’s very difficult, of course,” Gower said. “You know, we all knew from the beginning that she didn’t do it herself, but it still hurts.”
Lovins will be back in court next month for his arraignment.
A GoFundMe account was set up last year to help Hite's family with expenses.