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Suspect in Okla. thrill killing had made online threats

Aug. 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM   |   Comments

DUNCAN, Okla., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A suspect in the Oklahoma killing of an Australian baseball player had previously made online threats while a second suspect said he was bored, police said.

Christopher Lane, 23, in the United States on a baseball scholarship, died in a drive-by shooting last week while jogging in Duncan in what prosecutors have called a thrill killing. Duncan police chief Danny Ford said he had seen some "pretty brutal stuff but nothing like this, where there's no connection between the victim and the killers."

Police charged James Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, as adults with first degree felony murder, said Kaylee Chandler, Stephens County, Okla., court clerk. Michael Jones, 17, their alleged driver, faces charges of use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact to murder.

Three days prior to the incident, Edwards said on his Twitter account, "With my [expletive] when it's time to start taken life's," and in April tweeted, "90% of white ppl [people] are nasty. #Hate them."

The police affidavit lists Edwards and Luna as black, Jones as white.

"We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody," police said Jones told them.

Lane's killing has triggered worldwide media attention and for some in the United States, a political question with racial overtones in the wake of the polarizing acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, CNN said, noting President Barack Obama commented on Martin's death but not on this incident.

The conservative news website Townhall.com observed Wednesday the president and the Rev. Al Sharpton, a prominent civil rights figure, "who quickly opined on the George Zimmerman self-defense case against Trayvon Martin, are silent [on the death of Lane]. Where is Sharpton when it comes to condemning young black men joining gangs, as these three [suspects] did?"

A fund to help Lane's parents has collected more than $81,000, Australian news websiteNews.com.au reported. Donations poured in from across the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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