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‘Thrill Kill’ of White student draws wide attention

A random act of violence has left a promising 22-year-old college baseball player dead, a family devastated and two countries
A random act of violence has left a promising 22-year-old college baseball player dead, a family devastated and two countries half a world apart rattled. Christopher Lane, who’s from Australia, […] Credit: Eastern Central University

DUNCAN, Okla. — Prosecutors have charged James Francis Edwards, 15, and Chauncey Allen Luna, 16, with first degree murder and Michael Luna, 17, with the use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to murder after the fact.

The three are being charged in connection with what is being called a “thrill kill” murder of 22-year-old White Australian college student Chris Lane.

The teens, two of whom were Black, told police that they shot Lane “for the fun of it.” According to the Associated Press and other news sources, Lane was shot in the back as he jogged.  The teens are being held without bond.

Jones, who is White, will be tried as an adult, although he is 17, prosecutors told reporters.

Lane, a college student from Australia in the U.S. to play baseball, was shot with a .22 caliber pistol as he jogged near his girlfriend’s house.

Although police believe Lane was chosen at random, it’s being reported that Edwards often posted racist comments on Twitter.

According to The Daily Beast, Edwards posted things on his Twitter account, such as “90 percent of White people are nasty. #Hate them.”

CNN reports that just days before the murder, Edwards also Tweeted: “With my ni*s when it’s time to start taken life’s,” which is reportedly a line from a rap song. In its report, CNN also disclosed photos of Edwards posing with guns.

According to police reports, Jones named Luna as the gunman and said the teen fired from the backseat of the car after they had been following Lane for some distance.

It should be noted, that according to international media site, Luna’s mother is Caucasian.

According to AP, Duncan Police Chief Dan Ford said that one suspect told officers that “he and the other boys were bored,” and that they followed Lane and killed him for “the fun of it.”

The shooting has drawn national attention just a month after the not-guilty verdict came down for White community watch organizer George Zimmerman, who was on trial for shooting and killing Black teen Trayvon Martin in a suburb in Florida.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Tweeted last week, “This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail.”

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallen called on President Barack Obama to react to the case. “I think it would be a nice gesture for him to do that,” she told “Fox News Sunday.”

For some, the issue seems to about race, while others point to the U.S. lack of gun control laws. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer appeared on Piers Morgan’s talk show last week and called for Australians to think twice about visiting the U.S.

“People thinking of going to the U.S.A. on business or (as) tourist trips should think carefully about it, given the statistical fact you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the U.S.A. than in Australia per capita, per million people.”

In court when the teens were being charged, prosecutor Jason Hicks called them “thugs.”