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.
    x
    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.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    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.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora