The Duncan Banner

Local News

August 19, 2013

Formal charges coming in shooting death of Australian man

DUNCAN — Formal charges are expected to be filed Tuesday in the death of a 22-year-old Australian man gunned down while jogging in Duncan in what police say was a random, drive-by shooting by three teenage boys.

Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said one of the suspects, a 17-year-old, told police the teens were bored on Friday and “they just wanted to see some die, or kill someone.”

Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks said charges were not filed Monday because his office needed more time to review police reports and other evidence.

Three male teenagers from Duncan — ages 15, 16 and 17 — were arrested a few hours after Chris Lane was shot and killed around 3 p.m. Friday while he was jogging along Country Club Road on Duncan’s north side.

The boys were in a house on Country Club Road when they saw Lane jogging north on the road, Ford said. They drove by and one fired a shot into Lane’s back, leaving him to die.

The three teens were being held on murder complaints but Hicks said no formal charges would be filed until Tuesday. He declined to say what the charges would be or whether any or all of the teens would be tried as adults.

“We needed an extra day to look at it,” Hicks said.

Ford said the 17-year-old suspect implicated the 16-year-old as the one who pulled the trigger while the three drove by in a car. The 17-year-old was the only one providing any details, he said.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said the teens were being isolated from one another and other inmates at the Stephens County Jail.

Police have not found the gun or bullet casing but Ford said statements made by the 17-year-old lead police to think it might have been a revolver.

Lane was a baseball player at East Central University in Ada and had only returned to Oklahoma from his native Australia three days prior to his death. He was staying with his girlfriend and her family in Duncan.

Ford discounted speculation that the shooting might have been gang-related.

“Gangs shoot each other, they don’t shoot people walking down the street,” he said.

Jennifer Luna of Duncan, who said she was the mother of the 16-year-old being held, said Monday that she had been unable to have contact with her son or get any information about possible charges.

“If he was involved he needs to be punished, but I do believe in my heart that he did not pull the trigger,” said Luna, crying as she spoke with reporters in the lobby of the Stephens County Courthouse.

Luna said she knew the other two teens who were arrested and she had asked one of them to quit coming to her house. She said she didn’t think the other boy could “ever have been involved in something like this.”

She said her own son — the 16-year-old — had been kicked out of Duncan High School last year because there had been two deaths in the family and he had the flu and fell behind.

She said he was scheduled to return as a sophomore at Duncan High when classes began on Tuesday after the summer break.

“He said,  Mom, I’m ready to go back, I’m ready to do something with my life,’” Luna said.

She said the boys were not involved in gangs.

“These are wannabes down here and they talk all this stuff and they are just young kids.” she said. “This has nothing to do with gang-related.

“I just don’t understand these kids, I really don’t. I don’t know why they had to prove a point, I just don’t understand. I tell my kids all the time, ‘Make something out of your lives because this is hard.”’

Luna said she was a single parent and worked hard to make ends meet. Her heart went out to Lane’s family, she said.

“I feel for them, I really do and I apologize,” she said.

The three boys were tracked down with the help of video surveillance from businesses in Duncan and from a caller who said the teens had guns and wanted to kill someone.

Police found the teens near a black vehicle in the parking lot of Immanuel Baptist Church early Friday evening. A dismantled shotgun was found in the vehicle, but that was not the weapon used to shoot Lane in the back.

Ford, as well as Sheriff McKinney, said Duncan was a pretty safe community overall despite the shooting, but it was a reminder that no place is immune from violence.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Red Cross notes importance of local participation

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25 National Day of the Cowboy 0013.jpg National Day of the Cowboy kicks off Saturday

    The annual National Day of the Cowboy will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday at The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.
    The theme is centered around Native American culture and will be showcased through a variety of different activites, specifically the ongoing Allan Houser Exhibition.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Temperature hits 101

    The temperature hit 101 in Duncan on Thursday and stayed there for about two hours before cooling down to 99 at 6:35 p.m., the National Weather Service reported.
    More hot weather is in the forecast.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-24 Rotary Mike Nelson 0087.jpg Nelson discusses Duncan’s water supply during Rotary meeting

    Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson doesn’t think Duncan residents need to worry about the city’s water supply.
    Despite Stage 3 water rationing, which limits outdoor watering to midnight to 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nelson said the forethought of Duncan’s forefathers, who were also Duncan Rotary members, have created a backup system for the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 Douglass Pool Update 0081.jpg What’s dug up at cemetery goes down at spray pad project

       Dana Stanley knew just where to go to get fill dirt for the Douglass Park spray pad project -- the local cemetery.
       The city is building a splash pad on top of what used to be Douglass Pool, but  before that happens  a fairly large hole has to be filled.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Traffic stop leads to drug arrest for Duncan man

    Bail was set at $250,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who was allegedly found to have two bags of methamphetamine and two bags of marijuana in his home.
    Duncan Police Officer Suzannahe Weir said she stopped Steven Fontinott, 62,  for a traffic violation on Saturday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Man drives drunk, rolls truck in the process

    A felony warrant was issued for a Marlow man who was allegedly found to have been driving drunkenly following a rollover accident on Nabor Road.
    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Darin Carman said William Waller, 33, was pinned under the steering wheel of his truck and smelled of alcohol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hard year for peaches doesn't dampen summer tradition

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they've come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.

    July 24, 2014

  • Gun and drugs found in man’s car as he flees

    Bond was set at $10,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who allegedly left a pistol, four bags of methamphetamine, a bag of marijuana and paraphernalia in a car after running away from the vehicle.
    Duncan Police Officer Anna Van Dyck said Jahmar Sullivan, 31, opened the passenger door of the car he was riding in and fled while she was conducting a traffic stop on July 6.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-24 WaterColor.jpg Artistic expression colors her world

    Sixteen-year-old Darien Vassella is a painting prodigy.
    The Duncan native took part in a two-day watercolor class at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center to further hone her talents.
    Vassella said her family realized she could paint when she took her first art class at 13. Since then, the young artist has sold three paintings.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo