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Family of teen charged in Duncan “thrill kill” issues apology

DUNCAN, Okla – On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, the cousin of one of the teens involved in the murder of Australian athlete Christopher Lane traveled to Duncan from Houston to speak against gun violence.

James Dixon spent his summers traveling from Texas to Oklahoma, visiting family in Duncan.

He was shocked to find out 15-year-old James Edwards was his cousin.

In a meeting with local pastors and the mayor of Duncan, he gave a personal message to the Lane family.

“We want to extend a deep heartfelt sense of sympathy to the family of Christopher Lane,” Dixon said. “We do not want his family to think at all that this does not deeply sadden us.”

Dixon said he hopes to apologize to Christopher Lane’s parents face-to-face one day, on behalf of his entire family.

He said he also wants to have a talk with his young cousin about the value of life.

People who knew Edwards well describe him as a smart and funny kid who automatically attracted attention, although he frequently used that ability to make fun of other kids.

“It’s never a good sign when somebody has to step on somebody to be able to feel bigger,” Edwards’ youth pastor Ryan Benton said. “And so that broke my heart and I knew that it could have been so much more.”