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DA: Race not a factor in Australian ballplayer's Oklahoma slaying

  • In this undated photo provided by the Essendon Baseball Club player Chris Lane wears his baseball equipment. The Australian baseball player out for a jog in an Oklahoma neighborhood was shot and killed by three “bored” teenagers who decided to kill someone for fun, police said. (AP Photo/Essendon Baseball Club, HO) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Australian baseball player who was allegedly shot and killed at random while he was jogging wasn't targeted because of his race or nationality, the prosecutor in charge of the case said Friday.

Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old student at East Central University, was shot in the back and killed last week while jogging in Duncan, a southern Oklahoma community where the three teenagers accused in his killing live.

"At this point, the evidence does not support the theory that Christopher Lane was targeted based upon his race or nationality," District Attorney Jason Hicks said in a statement.

Hicks acknowledged that social media posts allegedly made by some of the defendants are racial in nature, but he said "the evidence is insufficient to establish that race was the primary motive" in Lane's slaying.

Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards, Jr., 15, have been charged as adults with first-degree murder. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, is charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder. He is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court.


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