DUNCAN — The teen accused of firing the shot that killed an Australian baseball player is claiming he wasn't involved.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, was identified by the district attorney during a court hearing last week as the shooter. But he has told both his court-appointed defense attorney and his family that he wasn't.
His attorney, Jim Berry of Oklahoma City, told The Oklahoman on Monday, “As of right now, he is expressing that he had no involvement in the shooting.”
Luna was one of three Duncan teens charged after Christopher Lane, 22, was shot in the back while jogging Aug. 16.
Luna and James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, were charged with first-degree murder. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact and use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon.
Both murder defendants have been accused of violent acts before, The Oklahoman has learned.
Luna was accused of assault in 2011, and Edwards was accused of assault and battery in 2012, sources said. Edwards also has been accused twice of threatening an act of violence — in May 2011 and March 2012.
Jones was accused of drug possession in June and auto burglary in February, sources said.
Luna told police hours after the shooting “that he was not there and that he was not aware of the shooting until an officer told him,” police reported in a court affidavit. That remains his defense.
“As far as a defense is concerned, at this point, we have absolutely no involvement in any shooting,” said his attorney, Berry, who spoke with him Thursday. “He has been arrested, but what he has been arrested on? It's the uncorroborated … statement of an alleged accomplice. That's all it is.”
Luna's grandfather said the teen has expressed the same thing to his family in a phone conversation from jail. “We already had gotten word from him that he said he didn't,” said Rick Bumpas, of Duncan.
Prosecutors have based their accusations in part on statements made by Jones, who told police the victim was shot because they were bored.
Jones admitted driving the car at the time of the drive-by shooting, police reported.
Edwards also is denying involvement in the shooting. His father, James Francis Edwards, said last week he claims he wasn't in the car at the time of the shooting and that he was picked up afterward.
The younger Edwards' court-appointed attorney, Al Hoch, declined to comment Monday on his defense.
Hoch, of Oklahoma City, said he is asking the preliminary hearing judge to impose a gag order. Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks plans to join him in the request.
Such orders restrict what prosecutors, defense attorneys and law enforcement officials can say about a case outside of court. Hoch said he wants a gag order because he already is worried about finding jurors who have not been tainted by the publicity.
“There's too much coming out from … the local law enforcement, stuff that's not even relevant to this,” Hoch said.
Police have acknowledged the three defendants had run-ins with the law before. Police have not released any details because they were juveniles. Court records on juvenile cases are closed.
Both The Oklahoman and Tulsa World have made written requests for release of the juvenile records of Luna, Edwards and Jones.
Such records are normally confidential, but the law allows them to be made public after a defendant is charged with such serious crimes as murder.
Police have said Edwards went to the courthouse about 30 minutes after the shooting to sign probation papers in a juvenile matter.
Lane, the victim, was a catcher on the baseball team at East Central University in Ada.
He was in Duncan visiting his girlfriend.
The district attorney has characterized the shooting as a thrill killing.
Lane's body has been returned to Australia.