News / USA

Oklahoma Shooting Suspects Could Face Life in Prison

This combination made with booking photos provided by the Stephens County, Oklahoma Sheriffs Department, shows, from left, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, all of Duncan, Oklahoma.
This combination made with booking photos provided by the Stephens County, Oklahoma Sheriffs Department, shows, from left, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, all of Duncan, Oklahoma.
VOA News
Two of the teenage suspects in the shooting of an Australian jogger in the sleepy town of Duncan, Oklahoma are being held without bail, while the third suspect’s bail was set at $1 million.

James Edwards, 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, have been charged with first degree murder and Michael Jones, 17, has been charged with using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact.

Jones, who will be charged as an adult, could face a prison sentence from two years to life if convicted, while the other two suspects, who will also be charged as adults, could face life in prison without parole if convicted of murder in the first degree.

This photo provided by East Central University shows Christopher Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.This photo provided by East Central University shows Christopher Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.
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This photo provided by East Central University shows Christopher Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.
This photo provided by East Central University shows Christopher Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.
The victim, Christopher Lane, 23, of Melbourne, Australia, was found dead of a gunshot wound in the back on August 16. He had been jogging when the shooting occurred. Lane was attending East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where he was on a baseball scholarship.

Prosecutor Jason Hicks on Tuesday called the suspects "thugs" during a hearing earlier this week.

"I'm appalled," Hicks said after the hearing. "This is not supposed to happen in this community."

Duncan is a town of just over 23,000 population in south-central Oklahoma.

In the courtroom, Hicks said Luna was sitting in the backseat of a car when he pulled the trigger of a .22 caliber revolver and shot Lane once in the back. Hicks said Jones was driving the vehicle and Edwards was in the passenger seat.

According to the Duncan Banner newspaper, Hicks said that upon arrest, one of the suspects was “kind of laughing and carrying on” as if it was a joke.

Hicks said the shooting appears to have been completely random, adding that one of the suspects said they did because they were bored. 

“There is no connection that I’ve seen inside the investigation between these three and the victim in this particular case — no connection whatsoever,” Hicks said.

The tragic shooting, which was done “for the fun of it” has shaken Duncan and caused waves in Australia, with a former deputy prime minister calling for an Australian boycott of U.S. tourism.

“I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers [but] it’s a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA,” Tim Fischer told the Australian newspaper The Day. “There is a gun for almost every American.”

Homicides in the United States occur at the rate is five per 100,000 people, according to 2012 statistics released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The majority of U.S. homicides involve firearms.

On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire with an AK-47 submachine gun at a Georgia elementary school. No one was injured and the shooter was arrested.

The most recent high-profile mass shooting occurred in December of 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, when Adam Lanza killed 20 children at nearby Sandy Hook Elementary school. Lanza also killed six adults, his mother and himself.

In the aftermath, there were repeated calls for more gun control in the U.S., but efforts to pass legislation failed to make it through Congress.

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by: Roger from: Minnesota
August 21, 2013 6:35 PM
I am sorry, but these kids do NOT deserve to hang out in prison for the rest of their lives. They deserve an appropriate trial, a swift verdict, and a quick .45 to the forehead at a total cost to the state of about 45 cents. It would do no one any good at all to waste any resources on these three miserable excuses for human beings.

by: Fargoguy from: North Dakota
August 21, 2013 6:28 PM
Where did they get the revolver? Where were their parents? Bored? In prison you won't be bored. You will be someone's bitch for the rest of your life . . . . . and if you ever get out, don't be surprised if someone is waiting for you.

by: Leer587 from: VA
August 21, 2013 4:19 PM
I agree with Rodgers from Ark.

Why in the hell do we wnt to keep these animals alive and have them in prison for life. I will donate the money for you guys to buy 3 bullets and put these SOBs out of existance.

by: Anonymous
August 21, 2013 3:40 PM
What about posing sanctions on the parents of these boys. This can not be the result of one summer day's boredom.

by: Unbelievable from: Utah
August 21, 2013 3:12 PM
What's the rationale in giving one out of the three a lighter sentence? They acted as a gang, they killed as a gang, and they should all three receive the death penalty as a gang. Then we will see if any of them are laughing perhaps.

by: Ruth
August 21, 2013 2:52 PM
What is the percentage of homicides in Australia? What is the percentage of violent crimes against women in Australia?

by: Fedup from: Rogers, Ark
August 21, 2013 2:44 PM
Now, can you believe that they might face life in prison; what a joke. Are you kidding me, yes, they should either get life in prison without any hope of parole or the death sentence. This was just Murder, pure and simple, without any reason. Evil boys who got a gun and because they were bored and had nothing better to do so they took this young man's life. Where and how did they get a gun, I am sure it was not a legally registered weapon, which is what all the evil criminal minds have, illegal weapons. This is a disgrace to Oklahoma and our Country. If that were my son, hell would have not fury like a Mother scorned, and I would be all over Duncan, Oklahoma demanding these boys go to jail for the rest of their lives. These are far from innocent kids.

by: Leonard from: OK
August 21, 2013 2:31 PM
Not so about Guns. You need to go to a reliable source like the CDC not the United Nations!

by: dave from: vancouver
August 21, 2013 2:27 PM
If they don't prosecute this as a hate crime someone has the fix in.
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