Duncan ‘boredom’ murder of Australian athlete case heads to trial in August

UPDATE: 3/20/14 Two teens involved in the murder of an Australian baseball player pleaded not guilty and face an August trial date.

Prosecutors say 18-year old Michael Dewayne Jones and 16-year old Chancey Allen Luna have a trial docket date of August 18, 2014. Prosecutors say it is unclear if the two will be tried together or separately.

 

DUNCAN, Okla. – Two teenagers will stand trial for the murder of an Australian baseball player who was fatally shot while jogging in his girlfriend’s home town of Duncan, last August.

Following a preliminary hearing Wednesday, A Stephens County Special Judge set an arraignment date for March 20 for 18-year-old Michael Dewayne Jones and 16-year-old Chancey Allen Luna.

Prosecutors allege Luna was the shooter and Jones was the driver of a car that also carried 16-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr, who will face a lesser accessory charge for agreeing to testify against his friends.

The three teens were arrested hours after Lane, an ECU baseball player who was visiting his girlfriend, was shot in the back while jogging along Country Club Road on August 16, 2013.

Edwards had testified earlier that the alleged shooter, Luna, said right after the killing that he thought there were supposed to be blanks in the gun, a .22 caliber revolver.

Taking the witness stand Wednesday was the Stephens County Sheriff’s dispatcher, Heather George.

She said a week after Lane’s murder, she overheard the driver, Jones, talking about the murder of Christopher Lane. George said from his jail cell, seven feet away, Jones could be heard saying “We tried to kill several others. They kept missing.”

Police have claimed Jones said the three teenagers shot Lane because they were bored. Edwards Jr is accused of calling a friend from jail to make sure the gun was hidden.

Kjwan Martin, a friend of all three defendants, also took the stand Wednesday but was soft-spoken and reluctant to answer questions.

When District Attorney Jason Hicks asked Martin if he was ever given the murder weapon, he replied “I take the fifth” – the 5th amendment to avoid self incrimination.

Martin also said “I take the fifth” when Hicks asked him if he had ever seen the weapon or had any communication with the defendants about Lane’s murder.

Hicks said a trial date could be set at next week’s arraignment for Jones and Luna. Edwards will be back in court in May.