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Local News

August 20, 2013

Juveniles hear official charges in shooting death of Australian athlete

2 charged with first degree murder; third has separate charge

DUNCAN — Prosecutors charged two teenagers with first-degree murder Tuesday and another teen with accessory to murder after it occurred in the drive-by shooting death of an Australian man gunned down Friday while jogging in Duncan.

Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks called all three Duncan teenagers “thugs” who had committed a random, deadly act in a community that had never seen such a crime.

James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, face first-degree murder charges. They can face up to life in prison without parole if convicted but Hicks said they cannot be sentenced to death because of their ages.

Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of weapon and accessory to murder after the fact. Hicks said he could face up to 45 years or more in prison if convicted.

The teens were brought before Stephens County District Court Judge Jerry Herberger separately to have the charges read. Automatic pleas of not guilty were entered for each.

The two teens charged with murder were ordered to be held without bond, while bond was set at $1 million for Jones.

Authorities say the three were inside a car and picked Christopher Lane out at random before Luna shot him in the back with a .22-caliber pistol, leaving him to die on the road.

 

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