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Local News

August 21, 2013

Emotions run high at county courthouse

DUNCAN — Rachel Padilla was the first person out of the courtroom and looked shocked by the charge levied against her brother.

As she made it past the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office, she took a seat at a nearby bench and began crying. She was consoled by her family members.

Padilla is the sister of James Edwards Jr., 15, who was one of two teens charged with murder in the first degree in the shooting death of Australian national Christopher Lane. The other teen was Chancey Luna, 16. A third teen, Michael Jones, 17, faces related charges, including use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact (murder in the first degree).

Padilla said she understood the loss Lane’s family was feeling because she was feeling a similar loss, that of her brother.

“I know they’re hurting, but I’m hurting, too,” Padilla said. “Now he can’t wrestle. He can’t play football.”

She said Edwards was always the person who told her things would work out, and she said she wished she could tell him the same thing.

“It’s really hard,” Padilla said. “We’ve always been close. I just want him to know it’s going to be OK. God will protect him.”

Although Jennifer Luna, mother of Chancey Luna, was vocal in the support of her son in the days leading to the initial appearance, Luna declined to comment, following her son’s appearance in court. After exiting the courtroom, she also was crying and visibly upset.

Many other friends and family members of the teens were brought to tears by the charges. At least one person took an angry approach, by raising her voice to various media outlets outside the courtroom.

Jones’ parents did not appear to be outspoken at the courthouse.

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