'Bored' OK Teens Who Shot and Killed Jogger 'for Fun' Identified
The three Oklahoma teens accused of murdering college student and up-and-coming baseball player Christopher Lane have been identified.
Michael Jones, 17, Chancey Luna, 16, and James Edwards, 15, face first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Lane, an Australian native who had been attending East Central University on a baseball scholarship.
The 22-year-old victim had been visiting his girlfriend and her family in the south-central town of Duncan and was out for a jog when he passed by the three suspects, which reportedly prompted them to follow him.
"They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: 'There's our target,'" Police Chief Danny Ford told reporters.
The three then allegedly approached Lane in a car and fired a single shot into his back, killing him on the spot.
Police have accused Luna of holding the .22 revolver.
Ford said investigators spoke with Jones, and he allegedly confessed to the crime, saying they did it "for fun."
"The boy who has talked to us said, 'We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody,'" Ford said.
Luna's mother, Jennifer, told News 9 that her son and his friends were a "wannabe gang," but insists she doesn't believe he pulled the trigger.
Edwards' father acknowledged that his son had previous run-ins with the law, but characterized them as "kid stuff" and called Edwards a "good boy."
Ford, on the other hand, believes the boys were on a "killing spree," and points to a Facebook message allegedly posted by one of the suspects around the time of the murder that read "bang. two drops in two hours."
"We would have had more bodies that night if we didn't get them," Ford said.
Lane had just returned to the States following a two-month visit to his hometown of Melbourne.
Lane's girlfriend, Sarah Harper, had accompanied him on the trip.
"He didn't deserve any of this," Harper said today. "It's heartbreaking that it was such a random choice those guys made that drastically altered so many lives in the process."
With regards to the accused, Harper said, "I don't want them to have any future that Chris wasn't able to have as well."
The decision whether to try the three as juveniles or adults will be made during their initial court appearance this afternoon.
If convicted, they face up a lifetime in prison. However, even if tried as adults, their age precludes them from receiving the death sentence.
UPDATE: Edwards and Luna have both been formally charged with first-degree murder; Jones was charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of weapon and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.
While Edwards and Luna will be tried as adults, Jones will be tried as a juvenile.
[photos via AP, Facebook; mug shots via Stephens County Sheriff's Office; L to R: Edwards, Luna, Jones]