teens to be tried as adults in Australian athlete's murder
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[March 13, 2014]
(Reuters) — Two Oklahoma teenagers
were ordered on Wednesday to stand trial as adults for the murder of
Australian baseball player Chris Lane, who was shot dead while jogging
last year, an Oklahoma court clerk said.
Stephens County Court Judge Jerry Herberger decided there was
enough evidence to try Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 18, on
first-degree murder charges, which in this case could mean life in
prison without the possibility of parole if they were convicted.
James Edwards, a third teenager who was in a car with the pair at
the time of the shooting and was also charged with first-degree
murder, will testify for the prosecution and could have his charges
reduced, the clerk said.
Oklahoma law allows for the death sentence for first-degree murder,
but people convicted of capital crimes committed before age 18
cannot be sentenced to death in the United States. All three
defendants were under 18 when the shooting occurred.
The teenagers are accused of tracking Lane, who police said was shot
in the back while jogging in Duncan, Oklahoma, a town about 80 miles
south of Oklahoma City. Lane, 23, a Melbourne resident, was
attending East Central University in Oklahoma on a baseball
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During preliminary hearings, Edwards had testified that Luna fired
the pistol that killed Lane and said the gun may have gone off after
the car swerved unexpectedly.
He also testified that Luna and Jones said they believed the gun
(Reporting by Heide Brandes; writing by Jon Herskovitz;
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