Aug 21, 2013

Oklahoma shooting: 2 teens charged with first-degree murder in ballplayer's killing in Oklahoma

Two teenagers were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a college baseball player out for a jog in Oklahoma — a crime that one teen said they carried out simply because they were bored, according to police.

James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, were charged with murder. A third teenager, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact and with firing a weapon. All were charged as adults, according to the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges were unveiled at a hearing in Duncan, Okla. The ballplayer, Christopher Lane, was visiting the town, where his girlfriend lives, the police chief told The Associated Press. He passed a home where the teens were staying and was gunned down at random, the chief said.

If convicted of first-degree murder, the suspects could face life in prison.

“They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,’” the chief, Danny Ford, told the AP. “The boy who has talked to us said, ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.’”

Lane, 22, is from Australia but was in Oklahoma playing baseball. He was a rising senior at East Central University in Ada, Okla., a catcher who started 14 games and hit .250 for the Tigers this season, according to the school’s athletics website.

Witnesses told Australian television that Lane staggered and collapsed on the road after he was shot in the back with a .22-caliber revolver on Friday afternoon.

Lane’s father, Peter, said that the killing was “heartless, and to try to understand it is a short way to insanity.”

“The fact that something that shouldn’t have happened has happened — it’s the fact that somebody we all love so much is not going to come home,” he said from Australia in video aired by KFOR, the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City.

Lane's girlfriend, Sarah Harper, visited the street where he was gunned down. A memorial with flowers had sprung up.