Duncan Teen Sentenced to Life in Prison For Killing Australian Student
A Duncan teen was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting an Australian student baseball player who was out on a jog.
18-year-old Chancey Luna was convicted today (6/16) of the 2013 drive-by killing of Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old student at East Central University, as he was jogging along a residential roadside in Duncan. Prosecutors said Luna and two other teenagers in a car with him shot Lane because they were bored. Attorney's went on to say that the gunshots were only intended to scare Lane, not strike him.
Defense attorney Jim Berry had acknowledged that Luna fired the fatal shot from a passing car that he was riding in, but during closing arguments he repeatedly noted that Luna was 16 at the time and said 16-year-olds take stupid, senseless, thoughtless actions.
"They work on impulse, hormones, whatever," Berry said. "They do not make a rational decision as you would in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s."
Attorneys argued that Luna should have had his case heard by a juvenile court. Luna was tried as an adult. One co-defendant in the case struck a deal with the prosecution to testify against Luna, having his murder charge dropped to an accessory-after-the-fact count.
During a preliminary hearing last year, James Edwards, Jr. testified that another teenager, Michael Jones, was driving and that Luna fired the gun from the back seat. Jones pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in March.