2 Oklahoma teens charged in Australian baseball player's killing

Christopher Lane, 23, was found about 3 p.m. Friday, with a gunshot wound to his lower back on Country Club Road just south of Twilight Beach Drive in Duncan, Police Chief Danny Ford said. Three teenagers are suspects in the slaying the police chief said.
by Matt Dinger Published: August 19, 2013

BREAKING: DUNCAN (AP) — Prosecutors filed charges against three teenagers Tuesday after police said the boys randomly targeted an Australian baseball player as he jogged and shot him in the back, killing him, to avoid the boredom of an Oklahoma summer day.

Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, died Friday along a tree-lined road on Duncan's well-to-do north side. Two teenagers, 15- and 16-year-olds from the gritty part of the town, were charged with first-degree murder and ordered held without bond.

A third, age 17, was accused of being an accessory after the fact and with driving a vehicle while a weapon was discharged. He said in open court “I pulled the trigger,” but the judge directed him to remain quiet and said Tuesday was not the day to discuss the facts of the case.

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The 17-year-old driver in a shooting that left a East Central University athlete from Australia dead admitted the slaying was a random thrill killing, the police chief said Monday.

About 3 p.m. Friday, Christopher Lane, 23, was found with a gunshot wound to his lower back on Country Club Road just south of Twilight Beach Drive in Duncan, Police Chief Danny Ford said. He died about an hour later at a hospital.

Three juvenile male suspects — ages 15, 16 and 17 — were arrested in connection with the shooting, but they will not be named until they are charged, Ford said.

First-degree murder charges against the three are expected to be filed Tuesday in Stephens County, he said.

Police used surveillance footage from local businesses to identify the car thought to be involved in the shooting, and the teens were located inside the vehicle in a church parking lot after a caller reported that juveniles with guns were at the address threatening to kill someone, Ford said.

The 17-year-old — who Ford said admitted to being the driver — told investigators that the 16-year-old pulled the trigger. The 15-year-old was reportedly just a passenger in the car during the shooting, Ford said.

Sunday afternoon, the 17-year-old admitted that the teens had been in a house a quarter-mile to half-mile south of the shooting scene when they saw Lane pass by and designated him as their target, Ford said.

“They followed him, shot him in the back and drove off,” he said.

“When asked why he did it, he said, ‘We were bored and decided to kill somebody,'” Ford said.

Investigators discovered a dismantled shotgun with the serial numbers ground off in the trunk underneath the spare tire, but the gun used in the killing — thought to be a small-caliber revolver — has not been found, he said.

View/sign the guest book for Christopher Lane Heraldsun.com.au: 'I love you so much': Girlfriend Sarah... News.com.au: Three teens accused in shooting

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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