Outcome of the preliminary hearing into shooting of an Australian in Oklahoma postponed after youngest suspect turns key witness.
Australian baseball player Chris Lane, studying at Oklahoma’s East Central University on a baseball scholarship was staying with his girlfriend Sarah Harper’s residence in Duncan. August 16 last year, when he was on jogging, he was shot at and murdered by three teenagers, allegedly for fun. This is as per Jones, one of the three teenagers who confessed to the Police about the crime.
Michael Jones, just about18, drove the car, Chancey Luna ,16 shot with a .22 calibre handgun from the back seat, while Edwards Jr 15, was a co-traveller in the car. According to Jones, Edward and Luna, driven by boredom, selected at random and fired just like that at Lane when they saw him jogging on the road.
Edward Jr’s Statement:
Narrating the sequence of events on that fateful day, Edward said he had no inkling Luna was going to shoot, that after the shooting, he heard Luna saying that he thought the gun had only blanks and not bullets, but unfortunately it had bullets.
After these revelations in the preliminary hearing, Edward Jr became a valuable, key witness in the case for prosecution. Though first degree murder charge stares at all the three boys, Edward Jr. pleaded with the court for a lesser degree charge on him. So, the judge Jerry Herberger of Duncan, Oklahoma court has reserved his orders for Mar 12 on whether two of the three teenagers charged with this murder will stand trial.
Actually, the judge was to have given his orders on whether Jones and Luna would stand trial
on Tuesday, but for the refusal of K Jwan Martin, a friend of Edwards to depose without lawyer’s assistance. So Mar 12 is fixed for the next hearing to enable Martin’s participation.
Jim Berry, Luna’s lawyer, is however satisfied that as per evidence, Lane’s murder is not premeditated, and hence murder charge against Luna is possible to be lessened.
The first witness in the preliminary hearing was Richard Rhoades, a painter at work then at a house. He deposed, “I first heard a loud sound, and seconds later, saw a black car
nearing the corner of the area. A woman nearby and myself maximum tried to save the wounded person, but could not succeed.”
March 12, Judge Jerry Herberger is likely to announce his orders on the future course, and the teenagers may end up in prison for life if murder charge is proved. All said and done, can we call it a juvenile prank?