Child killers expected to get chance at parole after ruling

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Dozens of prisoners serving no-parole sentences for killings they committed as juveniles are expected to one day get a chance for release, including the Oklahoma teenager sentenced in the shooting of a college baseball player from Australia.

District Attorney Jason Hicks told a state House committee on Tuesday he likely can’t meet the new legal threshold for the life-without-parole sentence given to Chancey Luna, who was 16 when prosecutors say he shot and killed Chris Lane while the Australian was jogging down a street in Duncan, Oklahoma. At the time of his death, Lane was attending East Central University on a baseball scholarship.

Christopher Lane
Christopher Lane

Luna was one of three teenage boys who were accused of killing Lane.

Authorities said the three teenagers, Luna, Michael Jones, and James Edward Jr., decided to kill Lane out of “boredom.”

“We were bored. We had nothing to do. We decided we’d kill somebody,” Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford recalled one of the alleged suspects saying.

Ultimately, Michael Jones pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while Chancey Luna was convicted of first-degree murder. Another teenager, James Edwards, Jr., pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after the fact.

Jones was sentenced to life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 34 years, while Luna was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Five years after the murder, it seems one of the suspects is already out of prison.

Edwards was originally sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in Lane’s death, with 10 years of that sentence being suspended.

Now, online records from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections indicates that Edwards has been released from prison and is currently under GPS monitoring

Lawmakers nationwide are grappling with how to resentence juveniles after the U.S. Supreme Court determined such sentences should be reserved only for the rarest cases.

Oklahoma lawmakers heard tearful testimony from Angela Wiles, whose 14-year-old daughter Alyssa was killed by her 16-year-old boyfriend.

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