OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Australian baseball player who was allegedly shot and killed at random while he was jogging wasn't targeted because of his race or nationality, the prosecutor in charge of the case said Friday.
Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old student at East Central University, was shot in the back and killed last week while jogging in Duncan, a southern Oklahoma community where the three teenagers accused in his killing live.
"At this point, the evidence does not support the theory that Christopher Lane was targeted based upon his race or nationality," District Attorney Jason Hicks said in a statement.
Hicks acknowledged that social media posts allegedly made by some of the defendants are racial in nature, but he said "the evidence is insufficient to establish that race was the primary motive" in Lane's slaying.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards, Jr., 15, have been charged as adults with first-degree murder. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, is charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder. He is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court.
This combination made with booking photos provided by the Stephens County, Okla., Sheriffs Department, shows, from left, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, all of Duncan, Okla. Credit: AP
Police said Jones told investigators that the three were "bored" and decided to kill someone for the "fun of it."
One of Edwards' friends, Serenity Jackson, told The Associated Press she didn't believe race was a factor in the shooting. She noted that Luna's mother, Edwards' girlfriend and Jones are white.
"It has nothing to do with Chris being white. They didn't even know who he was," said Jackson, 17, who grew up with Edwards.
Hicks also released a 911 call on Friday in which the caller reported that there were kids outside of a home threatening to kill someone.