The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

August 22, 2013

Concerned father led police to teens charged in Okla. murder

DUNCAN, Okla. — James Johnson's 911 call last Friday night pointed authorities to the parking lot of Immanuel Baptist Church, where they found James Edwards Jr., 15, Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17.

Johnson told detectives there had been a falling out between his son and the teenagers, said Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford. Johnson called at 7 p.m., four hours after the drive-by slaying of Christopher Lane, 22, a college baseball player from Melbourne, Australia.

Lane was on scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Okla., but visiting his girlfriend, Sarah Harper, who lives in Duncan.

Lane's death shocked this typically quiet community, and the fallout has created an international furor over gun control laws in the United States.

The story is also taking on racial dimensions since Edwards' sister complained the two defendants of color are charged with first-degree murder while Jones, who is white, faces lesser charges.

Prosecutors say Luna, riding in the back seat, fired the single shot from a .22-caliber pistol that killed Lane. Edwards rode in the front passenger's seat.

Jones, who police said drove the ambush car, is charged as an accessory. District Attorney Jason Hicks has said the charges are based on the evidence in the case -- not race.

Authorities say the teenagers were driving on the north side of town Friday afternoon when they spotted Lane jogging on the side of the road and randomly chose to shoot him. Hicks said the teenagers were bored and wanted to "kill somebody for the fun of it."

An eerie social media message three days earlier foreshadowed the murder. Under the handle @JamesAKABug, a Twitter user who appears to be Edwards posted on Aug. 13: "With my n----s when it's time to start taken life's."

The line is a lyric from rap artist Chief Keef's song, "I Don't Like."

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