The Duncan Banner

Local News

August 21, 2013

Sheriff on teens: 'We don't want them collaborating'

DUNCAN — The three Duncan teenagers charged in the drive-by shooting death of an Australian national will remain isolated from one another and other inmates at the Stephens County Jail as long as they are there.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said Wednesday that holding them individually is not only for their own protection, but was standard protocol for anyone under age 18 held in the jail.

“And we don’t want them collaborating with each other,” McKinney said.

Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Edwards, 15, face first-degree murder charges and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, is charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to murder after the fact.

They are accused in the death of 22-year-old Christopher Lane of Australia, who was jogging along Country Club Road in Duncan on Friday when shot in the back with a .22-caliber pistol. Prosecutors say Jones was driving and the other two were passengers, with Luna pulling the trigger.

Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks said Wednesday that it was too early to say whether the teens would be tried separately or together. Regardless, it could be months or longer before there is any trial.

Hicks said Wednesday afternoon that he was not aware of attorneys yet representing any of the three teens, but that was only a matter of them filling out some paper work if they wanted a public defender. Their next hearings are in October.

An attorney who handles some cases for indigent defendants in Stephens County talked briefly with Luna during his initial appearance in court Tuesday, and also spoke briefly on behalf of Jones. But that was only for that hearing to have the charges read and set bond.

Automatic pleas of not guilty were entered for each one.

Hicks has said that the charges were based on the evidence in the case and reiterated that Wednesday.

Rachel Padilla, the sister of Edwards, told reporters after the court hearing on Tuesday that she thought court officials were being prejudiced against her brother and Luna, who she said were “of color.” Edwards is black. Luna is of mixed race.

Edwards and Luna were charged with murder and denied bond, while Jones - the oldest of the three - was charged with lesser offenses and had bond set at $1 million. Authorities say Edwards was the only one of the three who cooperated during the investigation.

“All I am going to say on that question (of race) is we have cleared the cases the way the evidence has been laid out in front of us,” Hicks said.

Hicks said Wednesday that it still has not been determined where the teens got the .22-caliber pistol or a shotgun found in the car they were in.

Luna and Edwards could be sentenced up to life in prison without parole if convicted. Jones faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted on one charge and up to life on the other, but a life term in Oklahoma is defined as 45 years. If he got the maximum sentence on each charge, it could be 90 years.

Under the charges, the three teens would have to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence term.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said Wednesday that the shooting was tragic and difficult to explain and he did not blame anyone for being angry.

But, he said, “This does not represent who and what Oklahoma’s are and it’s certainly not representative of what the community of Duncan represents. There are plenty of people saying things and it’s really a sad day, but it’s not reflective at all of the community where this occurred and the state.”

The shooting has prompted calls by some in Australia, including the former deputy prime minister, for tourists to boycott the United States. Many are outraged about crime in the U.S. and the proliferation of guns.

Cole, whose district includes Duncan, said he regretted the comment by the former deputy prime minister.

“But that is a free country and a vigorous democracy,” he said. “But I think if Australians would take the time to look at this nation and Oklahoma in particular they will find we have shared values and shared commitment to a free society.”

 

 

 

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