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3 Oklahoma teens charged after Australian student slain

By Kristi Eaton

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:40 a.m. HST, Aug 20, 2013

DUNCAN, Okla. » Prosecutors filed charges against three teenagers today 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 today was not the day to discuss the facts of the case.

The boy cried.

His bond was set at $1 million.

Police Chief Dan Ford has said the boys had the simplest of motives — overcoming a boring end to their summer vacation. Ford said in a variety of interviews that the 17-year-old had told officers that they were bored and killed Lane for "the fun of it."

Meanwhile, family and friends on two continents mourned Lane, who gave up pursuit of an Australian football career to pursue his passion for baseball, an American pastime. His girlfriend tearfully laid a cross at a streetside memorial in Duncan, while half a world away, an impromptu memorial grew at the home plate he protected as a catcher on his youth team.

"We just thought we'd leave it," Sarah Harper said as she visited the memorial. "This is his final spot."

Flowers, photos and an Australian flag already adorned the roadside in a tribute to the 22-year-old.

"I don't know anybody who's left this. It means a lot," Harper said.

Lane played at East Central University in Ada, 85 miles east of Duncan, and had been visiting Harper and her parents after he and his girlfriend returned to the U.S. from Australia about a week ago. A former deputy prime minister in Australia called for a tourism boycott of the United States while Lane's former clubs sought ways to honor their former teammate.

His old team, Essendon, scheduled a memorial game for Sunday to raise funds for Lane's parents as they worked to have their boy's remains sent home. The club said it would deliver notes of condolences sent to its headquarters.

At Essendon Catholic School, Lane will be remembered at a November Mass in which all former students who have died are mourned and celebrated, former school captain David Ireland told The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

"He was the sort of guy at school who everyone knew and knew quite well," Ireland said of Lane. "He loved his footy (Australian football) and his sport and spent a lot of time with mates."

Lane had attended St. Bernard's college, where the principal at the time, Frank Fitzgerald, criticized the violence in Lane's death.

"I think the rest of the countries around the world just look at that country and shake their head," FitzGerald told The Age. He said Lane could have had a promising career in his country's football league "but he already had indicated that baseball was what he would concentrate on."

Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper reported that roses and a baseball were placed Monday on the home plate where Lane played as a youth with the message, "A wonderful young man taken too soon. Why?"

Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer criticized the National Rifle Association and asked Australians to avoid the U.S. as a way to force its Congress to act on gun control.

"Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice," Fischer told the Herald Sun. "This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gunshows. People should take this into account before going to the United States. I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers (but) it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American."

Tara Harper, Sarah Harper's cousin, said her family was working with the Lanes on funeral arrangements but that the girlfriend didn't want to attend court proceedings.

"She wants nothing to do with them. She doesn't want to see them. She doesn't want to hear them," Tara Harper said. "I don't think we'll ever know why it happened. No answer will ever be satisfying, no matter what it is."

Police said they had been called to a home in Duncan's east side in response to a possible shooting. At the home today, pieces of cement with the phrases "happiness lives in hearts that love" and "with God all things are possible" written on them sat cracked on the front porch.

One window was covered with foil, and cardboard and a satellite dish was perched on the roof. No one answered at the home or at homes next door or across the street.

At the site of the shooting, Bill Renfrow, 85, said he saw emergency workers tending to Lane and believed there had been a hit-and-run accident behind his home.

"It's very saddening. It's a terrible thing to happen. It's so unusual," he said, later adding: "He was a guest in the country."

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allie wrote:
on August 20,2013 | 10:18AM
palani wrote:
How "odd" that there is no mention of race in this report. Had the victim been black, and the shooters white, the entire narrative would be different, and national inciters such as Sharpton and MSNBC would be all over the tragedy.

Three teens accused of murder of baseball player Chris Lane identified

on August 20,2013 | 12:14PM
kailua000 wrote:
100% true
on August 20,2013 | 12:19PM
eoe wrote:
How odd that you always want to talk about race. I bet when you saw the original race-neutral article, you googled around until you found a picture, didn't you? Sounds somewhat pathological to me.
on August 20,2013 | 12:27PM
palani wrote:
Here's another "race-neutral article" reflective of media bias for you. Yes, the shooter was black, and the infant was white. Such an inconvenient truth.

Trial starts for Georgia man accused of shooting baby

on August 20,2013 | 02:11PM
eoe wrote:
Earlier you accused me of putting words in your mouth. What exactly are you trying to say? The shooter was black, the mother was white. So? What is inconvenient again?
on August 20,2013 | 02:17PM
palani wrote:
eoe, I appreciate that your comments are generally intelligent and civil. My point is simply that the media consistently plays the race card when it fits their "only whites are racists" narrative, while ignoring any evidence to the contrary. The result is a distortion of the facts.
on August 20,2013 | 02:42PM
eoe wrote:
Oh whoops, they just released the ethnic make up of the killers. Two black, one white. Maybe that's why they didn't release it ... the leftist media conspiracy was being clever ... let the right froth itself into convulsions first and then bam! discredit them. Its looks like the COMINTERN is smarter than you gave it credit for.
on August 20,2013 | 03:16PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Give it a rest palani.
on August 20,2013 | 12:29PM
Morimoto wrote:
BUt one of the suspects is white. How do you explain that?
on August 20,2013 | 02:12PM
palani wrote:
That's a good point, Morimoto. What I really object to is the inconsistency in how the media reports these events.
on August 20,2013 | 02:46PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
EXACTLY what I was thinking. Where's the outcry, Al? Where's the racial rhetoric, O'Donnell, Matthews, Maddow, Harris-Perry, Schultz? Then the Anti-Gunners blame the NRA. Right. I'm sure these punks were card-carrying NRA members. This is the rationale of the simple-minded. RIP, Mr. Lane. Sorry for the tragic end to your promising life by the vermin that flood our American streets.
on August 20,2013 | 04:33PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Here's a story with more detail:


on August 20,2013 | 10:20AM
hanoz808 wrote:
This article has much more info.....i wonder why SA limited their article
on August 20,2013 | 03:20PM
50skane wrote:
Too much violence on TV, movies and video games.. I have personally seen a car full of teenagers drive by at a bad traffic accident scene where a seriously injured and bloody man was laying on the ground writhing in pain, and as they the teenagers drove by slowly they all smiled and some laughed as if they thought it was funny someone got really hurt. Our youth are becoming desensitized to real suffering from what they see and hear all around them in music, TV, movies and games..if this keeps up I hate to see what our world is going to be like in a decade or more when these kids become adults.
on August 20,2013 | 10:26AM
AhiPoke wrote:
Note the deafening silence from Sharpton and Jackson. Those two race mongers appear to have a severe case of lockjaw. I can hardly imagine the venom that would come out of their mouths if the victim was black and the shooters were white.
on August 20,2013 | 10:31AM
eoe wrote:
Interesting that the Australians seem to have hit the nail on the head: Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer has urged Australian tourists to boycott the US in the wake of Lane’s slaying. "Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice,'' said Fischer, an outspoken gun-control advocate. "This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gun shows.” "People should take this into account before going to the United States, “ Fischer continued. “I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers (but) it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA.” He added: “There is a gun for almost every American.''
on August 20,2013 | 10:41AM
palani wrote:
So you think that the teenage Oklahoma shooters owned registered guns? You seem to be blinded by your own anti-second amendment ideology.
on August 20,2013 | 02:01PM
Mei mei wrote:
Agreed AhiPoke ~~~ it's sad, the whole world views USA as this violent country, with people & guns running amok... its truly a travesty, I don't blame Australia's Prime Minister with the boycott...
on August 20,2013 | 11:31AM
ryan02 wrote:
It's too bad most people think it's cruel to punish teenagers with the death penalty or life in prison with no parole. But with the earth's population at 6.5 billion, I really don't think we need people like this in it. It would be no loss to humanity, and very probably a gain.
on August 20,2013 | 10:42AM
Jonas wrote:
Have to agree with you there. I feel this way about a lot of criminals.
on August 20,2013 | 04:23PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
eoe wrote: "This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gun shows.”

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that these three teenage gangster wannabes did NOT buy their 22 caliber pistol at a gun show.

on August 20,2013 | 10:54AM
ryan02 wrote:
No they probably bought it off some OTHER criminal who bought it at a gun show. Or maybe even stole it from someone who bought it at a gun show.
on August 20,2013 | 10:59AM
eoe wrote:
Yes, NY police just made their largest bust of straw buyers in their history, and these networks are flooding the inner cities with illegal. But of course nobody on the right wants to talk about this. They just want to talk about how the media isn't talking about how these guys are black. Which of course also isn't true.
on August 20,2013 | 11:18AM
Is it just me but these horrific crimes for no reason (except perhaps racial motive) always neglect to give the race when the perpetrator(s) are black and the victim is white. it is a pattern I have seen over and over again in the media. I find a racial/gang motive much more believable than boredom. Obliviously our black youths and their adult role models place very little value on life when they are willing to commit these horrific crimes.
on August 20,2013 | 01:21PM
palani wrote:
It's not just you, HORRIBLEHARRY, the media bias is irrefutable.
on August 20,2013 | 02:04PM
eoe wrote:
Except when it isn't because your assumptions that the killers were all black was incorrect.
on August 20,2013 | 03:20PM
Jonas wrote:
Now, I don't love the NRA, but I do believe in the right to bear arms. And I do believe in background checks, etc. I don't think banning guns is smart because criminals will always be able to get guns.
on August 20,2013 | 04:24PM
eoe wrote:
I wonder why the US has a murder rate twice that of Iraq or Afghanistan, and nearly four times as high as Australia?
on August 20,2013 | 12:25PM
juscasting wrote:
C'mon R u fo real? So when some nut case sets off a car bomb or straps 50lbs of C4 on themselves and stands in front of a police station and kills like 56 people in Afghanistan or Irag das not murder?..........Australia, u might be correct?
on August 20,2013 | 12:50PM
WKAMA wrote:
Sarah Haper's cousin says Sarah, referring to the court hearings "... wants nothing to do with them. She doesn't want to see them. She doesn't want to hear them," "I don't think we'll ever know why it happened. No answer will ever be satisfying, no matter what it is." Can't blame her. You often hear from their family that he was a "good boy, never did anything wrong, etc". Well, in some people's culture what is good and fun for them is way below the standards of behavior that the majority of most citizens enjoy in this country. These people would probably fit better in outlaw sections of Somolia or Yemen.
on August 20,2013 | 12:45PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Try them as adults and seek death sentence to the shooter.
on August 20,2013 | 12:47PM
paniolo wrote:
Yeah, and let them rot in jail "for the fun of it."
on August 20,2013 | 02:40PM
boshio wrote:
Who owns the gun that they used to kill for fun. The gun owner should be at least 60% responsible for this random killing. Can't wait for the kids to find excitement in a jail cell forever.
on August 20,2013 | 01:05PM
mrluke wrote:
Amazing all the posters who want to blame the gun, the NRA and conservatives in general for this horrific act, but NOT the three $#it birds who actually committed the murder. Oh, and by the way, let's keep it race neutral!
on August 20,2013 | 01:57PM
eoe wrote:
Yes, race neutral because one of the killers is white.
on August 20,2013 | 03:17PM
notarzt wrote:
Young and dumb are conditions not defined by race. Savagery and sociopathy also enjoy deep and sad histories among all peoples. Those that focus upon race miss the true nature of the issues that create such tragic incidents as these. The gratuitous indulgence of some of these postings is a distraction that not only fails to help find a solution, it contributes to the problem. My only surmise is that the postings dwelling on race reflect far more about the poster than the events commented upon.
on August 20,2013 | 03:49PM
Bumby wrote:
Intelligently stated notarzt. New rule about owning guns. A public storage to hold all guns and bullets and citizens cannot store them by themselves. Can be taken out but must be returned. If not returned a warrant to be issued. Not allowed to keep anywhere else. If found on a person illegally penalties of large fines or jail time. Let them own guns only don't allow them to bear the arms whenever they feel like it.
on August 20,2013 | 04:20PM
PokeStop wrote:
Lane had two Hawaii teammates this past year at East Central University, a D2 school in Oklahoma. Can't believe those three did this for because they had nothing to do! World is really going to the pits lately!
on August 20,2013 | 04:04PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
It is really sad when our children see killing as a solution to boredom. What has society done to create such monster? Of course, the parents will be looked at. Maybe the parents were in fact very bad parents who did not teach their children right from wrong. And of course, there are children that no matter what you do to teach them they will do whatever they want. What are our schools doing to teach our children regarding ethics and morals? Or are these things a no-no because they are possibly linked to religion? I believe that schools should teach morality and ethics. It seems that too many of our children are learning the wrong things.
on August 20,2013 | 04:42PM
Tarball wrote:
eoe and morimoto . . . . . Luna's mom appears to be White or Hispanic, but he obviously is considered Black. Why would Blacks want to defend the actions of these creeps?. If they were of my racial extraction, I'd say hang 'em for bringing such shame on us.
on August 20,2013 | 11:50PM
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