Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old Australian student was shot down on Friday by three teens in Duncan, OK. Two charged with first-degree murder with the other being charged as an accessory. Lane was attending East Central University on a baseball scholarship.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards Jr, 15, were both tried and charged as adults. They are being held without bond for first-degree murder. The alleged driver, Michael Jones, 17, was charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to murder. He is considered a youthful offender but court will try his as an adult. Bond for Jones was set at $1 million.
Luna had been riding in the back seat of the vehicle when he shot Lane in the back one time. Edwards was in the passenger seat as Luna used a .22 caliber revolver to shoot Lane in the back once. Lane was jogging along the road after visiting his girlfriend when gunned down.
Police Chief, Dan Ford, said Lane was an unlucky target chosen at random. He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Lane had passed a residence where the three boys were, as they saw him they got in the car and started following him. Lanes father told Melbourne reporters that his death was so pointless. He also added, “There’s not going to be any good come out of it because it was just so senseless.”
Hicks, the prosecutor, requested no bond be set for Edwards saying, “I believe this man is a threat to the community and should not be let out. He thinks it’s all a joke.” Hicks also referred to the boys as “thugs” during court. The day of the shooting, Edwards was at court signing documents associated to his juvenile probation. After being cut off in court while trying to speak, the 17-year-old wept.
Lane was pronounced dead after an hour after a woman attempted CPR and paramedics arrived on the scene. He was discovered face down by Richard Rhodes, saying he was shot with a .22 caliber revolver. Video surveillance from a nearby business was used to track down the teens.
In an interview with the Australian Associated Press, Chief Ford said, “I think they were on a killing spree. We would have had more bodies that night if we didn’t get them.” Investigators came across a message reading: “Bang. Two drops in two hours,” on one of the suspects Facebook page.
Denial comes from the parents of 16-year-old Chancey Luna and 15 year-old James Edwards Jr. Edwards father denies his son of having part in Lane’s death, he said the boy had trouble with law enforcement before. Luna’s mother said her son and his friends were apart of a “wannabe gang” but assures press he is not a killer.
A memorial has started at the sight of Lane’s last breath. Lane was well liked on the campus and showed great promise in his studies and sports career. He had started 14 as catcher at the school in Ada, west of Duncan about 85 miles. East Central University is setting up a fund to donate to the Lane’s for Chris’s parents to travel to Oklahoma from Australia. Essendon Baseball Club in Australia, Chris’s former team, dedicated the game this Sunday against the University of Melbourne to Lane and raise money for his family. The message, “A wonderful young man taken too soon. Why?” Accompanied roses and baseballs on the home plate.
By Jodi Phillips