The Duncan Banner

Local News

August 20, 2013

Teens charged in shooting death of Australian

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 while jogging in Duncan.

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

He said one of the teens, while being booked into the Stephens County Jail after his arrest following the shooting, danced about and was “kind of laughing and carrying on” as if everything was a joke.

Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Edwards Jr., 15, are charged with first-degree murder, will be tried as adults. They could face up to life in prison without parole if convicted, but because of their ages, they cannot be sentenced to death.

Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of weapon and accessory to murder after the fact.

Jones could be subject to youthful offender provisions in Oklahoma law during any sentencing phase, but will be treated as an adult until that stage and could still be sentenced up to 45 years in prison.

Jones was the only teen who cooperated with authorities, but Hicks said he still would seek to have him sentenced as an adult if convicted.

Stephens County Special District Judge Jerry Herberger ordered Luna and Edwards held without bond and set bond at $1 million for Jones.

Hicks said Luna pulled the trigger, shooting 22-year-old Christopher Lane in the back with a .22-caliber pistol while he was jogging along Country Club Road in Duncan. Jones was driving his car — a 2003 black Ford Focus — during the shooting, Hicks said.

Lane was in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada and had just returned to Duncan from his native Australia three days before he was killed. He was in Duncan staying with his girlfriend, Sarah Harper, and her family.

Hicks said the shooting could not have been more random. Police had said earlier that Jones told them they were bored and just wanted to kill someone.

The teens were brought before Herberger separately to have the charges read. Automatic pleas of not guilty were entered for each.

More than 100 people packed Tuesday’s court hearing, many of them reporters from local, state, national and Australian news organizations. There were at least a dozen television stations on hand, and the media presence was so large the hearing was moved to a larger courtroom.

Luna was brought out first. Hicks said he was the triggerman and was too dangerous to free on bond. He also summarized the impact of the crime on Duncan.

“We live in a small community of 25,000 and we don’t ever see crimes like this — ever — and now we have,” Hicks said. “I can’t imagine anything more appalling that something like this.”

Hicks said authorities have videotape of Edwards “doing a little dance” as he was being booked following his arrest and said he was “cold and calloused” throughout the investigation.

He said Edwards, only about a half hour after the shooting occurred but before the teens were arrested, had met with a juvenile probation officer at the Stephens County Jail on an unrelated matter.

The shooting has not only shocked people in Duncan and Oklahoma but in Australia as well, where Lane’s parents have spoken emotionally about the loss of their son.

“This is not something that is supposed to happen here and to our friends in Australia I would say to you this is not Duncan, Oklahoma, this is not Stephens County, Oklahoma and this is not something we see happening here,” Hicks said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Council votes for cheaper, quicker water fix

    The Duncan City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to go with a $650,000 fix to its water infrastructure needs.
    The council approved a $43,000 contract with Crafton, Tull, Sparks and Associates to build a 1,000-foot long pipeline that will be capable of putting about 3 million gallons of water per day into Lake Humphreys.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23 DHS Band 0042.jpg DHS band wins fifth straight Sweepstakes

    The Duncan High School band received a rare distinction, winning Sweepstakes for the fifth consecutive year.
    Senior Cody Plumley is excited the band won Sweepstakes for its fifth year in a row, making the DHS Band one of the few school bands to do so.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriffs: State backing out on prisoner promises

    State efforts to save time and money by shuffling prisoners more swiftly through the system are riling local sheriffs who are losing money because of the efficiency program.
    A change in Department of Corrections practice is landing a “significant hit” on two-thirds of Oklahoma counties, which depend on reimbursements to house state inmates locally, said Ken McNair, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association.

    April 23, 2014

  • McKinney: DOC move will benefit Stephens County jail

    Oklahoma Department of Corrections efforts to move county inmates to DOC prisons has helped the Stephens County Jail dip below capacity.
    But Sheriff Wayne McKinney wonders why it took so long to happen when the county jail was overcrowded for several years.

    April 23, 2014

  • Officer urges volunteers to sign up for mentoring program

    A new in-school mentoring program trying to recruit volunteers got a boost on Tuesday night when Duncan Police Officer Julio Alvarez stepped onto a stage to tell a crowd of 50 spectators that a mentor helped him overcome the trauma of childhood victimization.
    “Go out and spread the word,” Alvarez said, urging people to sign up as mentors through a program that is being developed by The Well Outreach, Inc.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23 Assumption 0009.jpg Assumption Catholic to honor Pope John Paul II

    As Pope John Paul II moves toward being named a saint, Assumption Catholic Church will have its own celebration of the former head of the Catholic Church.
    Assumption will have a Divine Mercy Healing Mass at 6 p.m. Sunday to celebrate the canonization of John Paul II. John Paul II was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22 Tyee Percival OBIT.jpg Tyee Leon Percival

    April 14, 2009-April 19, 2014

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Council to consider airport runway rehabilitation

    A rehabilitation project could be coming to the runway at the Duncan Municipal Airport.

    April 22, 2014

  • High rainfall recorded for Duncan, more expected this week

    Duncan’s rainfall total for 2014 nearly doubled between Sunday night and Monday morning, when the community received 2.06 inches of precipitation.

    April 22, 2014

  • Commissioners discuss Coke, Pepsi for fairgrounds concession

    For the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center, the ultimate battle between Coke and Pepsi will come down to which product will benefit the fairgrounds most.

    April 22, 2014

Poll

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs