Prosecutors on Tuesday charged two teenagers accused of gunning down an Australian student in Oklahoma for the “fun of it” with first-degree murder, and a third teen with being an accessory.
Officials say Christopher Lane, 22, who was visiting the U.S. on a baseball scholarship at East Central University, was jogging along a road in Duncan, Oklahoma, after visiting his girlfriend on Friday when he was shot in the back, allegedly by the teens.
Terri Moore from the Stephens County District Attorney’s office says 16-year-old Chancey Allen Luna and 15-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr. were charged as adults with first-degree murder. Both are being held without bond.
Bond was set at $1 million for 17-year-old Michael Jones, who allegedly drove the vehicle carrying the other suspects. He was charged with the use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to murder after the fact.
Though Jones was not charged with murder, he claimed in open court Tuesday that "he pulled the trigger." The judge ordered him to remain quiet and said it was not the day to discuss the case.
Police Chief Dan Ford said Lane appeared to have been chosen at random, saying in a variety of media interviews since Friday's killing that one suspect told officers that he and other boys were bored and that they followed Lane and killed him for "the fun of it."
"Lane went by a residence where these three boys were, they picked him as a target, they went out and got in a vehicle and followed him," Ford told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, according to AFP.
"[They] came up from behind and basically shot him in the back with a small caliber weapon, then sped away," Ford added.
Richard Rhodes, a builder who discovered Lane lying face down, said he was targeted with a .22 caliber revolver.
Police tracked the teens down using surveillance video from a business that is near the shooting scene, KOCO reports.
The teens face a maximum sentence of life in prison. They can be tried as adults, but they can't face the death penalty since they are under the age of 18.