Shooting victim in Oklahoma laid to rest in home country of Australia

Aug. 28, 2013 at 8:52 AM
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DUNCAN, Okla., Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The Australian man fatally shot in Oklahoma was buried Wednesday in his home country after an autopsy revealed he died of a single gunshot to the back.

Mourners packed Melbourne's St Therese's Church for the funeral of Christopher Lane, who was attending Oklahoma's East Central University on a baseball scholarship when he was gunned down at random Aug. 16 in what prosecutors have described as a thrill killing, CNN reported.

The autopsy, released Tuesday, indicated the 22-year-old Lane died when a bullet entered his back, breaking a rib then slicing through his left lung, aorta, esophagus, pulmonary artery and his right lung before finally breaking another rib, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported.

The official cause of death is "penetrating gunshot wound to back" and the official manner of death is homicide.

One of the three teens arrested in Lane's death allegedly told police in Duncan, Okla., he and his companions decided to kill someone because they were bored, The Oklahoman said.

Two of the teens -- James Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Luna, 16 -- were charged as adults with first-degree murder, while the third, 17-year-old Michael Jones, is accused of being an accessory and driving a vehicle during the discharge of a weapon.

Lane's American girlfriend, Sarah Harper, was among the mourners in Melbourne, having accompanied the body home to Australia on Saturday. She also attended a tribute game during the weekend with Lane's family and friends at Melbourne's Essendon Baseball Club, where Lane had been a member.

Tuesday in Duncan, Stephens County Special Judge Jerry Herberger issued the gag order banning prosecutors, law enforcement officials and defense attorneys from commenting on the case to the media, The Oklahoman said.

Herberger scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 17.

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