3rd Oklahoma teen charged in Australian’s slaying
KRISTI EATON Associated Press
DUNCAN (AP) — A third teenager was charged with murder Wednesday in the death of an Australian college baseball player who was shot while jogging in Oklahoma, a random act that authorities say the teen and his two friends blamed on being “bored.”
Prosecutors filed the upgraded charge against 17-year-old Michael Dewayne Jones, who initially faced lesser charges in the death of Christopher Lane. The 22-year-old Melbourne native, who was attending East Central University in Oklahoma, was on a training run while visiting his girlfriend’s parents in Duncan when he was killed on Aug. 16.
During a brief court hearing Wednesday, prosecutor Jason Hicks said Jones may have been involved in two other shooting incidents around the time of Lane’s death. Hicks didn’t provide details and declined to answer questions after the hearing, citing a gag order in the case.
Jones was ordered held without bond on the first-degree murder charge, which will be tried in adult court. Jones initially faced charges of being an accessory after the fact and operating a motor vehicle while a gun was discharged, but those charges were dropped.
He hasn’t been assigned an attorney to handle the new murder case. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 20.
His parents left the courthouse without speaking with the media.
The two other suspects — Chancey Allen Luna and James Francis Edwards Jr., both 16 — had already been charged as adults with first-degree murder.
In the days after the slaying, Duncan Police Chief Dan Ford said the older boy told investigators that the three were “bored” and decided to kill someone for the “fun of it.”
Lane moved to Oklahoma to play baseball and was preparing for his senior year at East Central University in Ada, a town about 80 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, with hopes of entering the real estate business. He was shot in the back while visiting his girlfriend’s parents in Duncan, about 80 miles west of Ada.
Oklahoma’s medical examiner determined that a small-caliber bullet collapsed both of Lane’s lungs, broke two ribs, ripped his aorta and pulmonary artery before lodging in his shoulder.
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