4 now charged in Australian college player's death
- Article by: KRISTI EATON
- Associated Press
- April 14, 2014 - 4:40 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY — A fourth person was charged Monday in the death of an Australian baseball player who was fatally shot as he jogged in a southern Oklahoma neighborhood last summer.
Oddesse Barnes, 22, of Duncan, was charged with accessory after murder in the death of 22-year-old Christopher Lane of Melbourne, according to the Stephens County District Attorney's Office. Lane was preparing for his senior baseball season at East Central University when he was shot along a tree-lined road in Duncan while visiting his girlfriend's parents in August. Investigators say he was randomly targeted by "bored" teenagers.
Two teens — Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 18 — are charged with first-degree murder and are set to go on trial. Investigators allege that Luna fired the fatal shot from the back seat of a car Jones was driving. Another teenager who was with the pair also is facing charges.
Barnes, who is accused of helping later hide the weapon, was arraigned Monday. He pleaded not guilty, and his bail was set at $150,000, according to the Stephens County Court Clerk's office. A lawyer was not yet entered for Barnes, and a public phone listing for him couldn't be found.
Online court records weren't available Monday, and the court clerk's office said it could not provide the charging documents. But television station KWTV reports that court documents accuse Barnes of aiding Luna and Jones by hiding the weapon they allegedly used in the shooting.
Another teenager, James Francis Edwards Jr., has been charged with accessory after the fact. Prosecutors have said they will drop a first-degree murder charge against Edwards, who is 16, if he continues to testify against Luna and Jones.
Edwards has said he was rolling marijuana cigarettes in the front passenger seat of a car when Luna fired the fatal shot from the back while Jones drove. Edwards testified that Luna and Jones both said they believed the gun used in the killing held blanks, not a live round.
Duncan Police Chief Dan Ford has said that the older boy told investigators that the three were "bored" and decided to kill someone for the "fun of it."
"They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: 'There's our target,'" Ford said a few days after the shooting. "The boy who has talked to us said, 'We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'"
A gag order now prevents lawyers and others from discussing the case outside of court.
Lane had been attending college on a baseball scholarship.
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