News World US teen star witness in Lane murder case

US teen star witness in Lane murder case

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The youngest Oklahoma boy charged with the murder of Australian baseball player Chris Lane has become the prosecution’s star witness.

James Edwards Jr, 16, was brought into court as the second prosecution witness at a preliminary hearing in Duncan, Oklahoma on Tuesday.

Edwards Jr told the court how on August 16 last year his friend, Chancey Luna, 16, fired a .22 calibre hand gun from the back seat of a car driven by his friend Michael Jones, 18.

He said it hit Lane, who they saw jogging on the side of a road.

The three boys are charged with first degree murder, but Edwards Jr told the court he was hoping his charge would be reduced to accessory after the fact of murder.

He said he was not aware Luna was going to fire the gun.

He also said he heard Luna say after the shooting the gun was supposed to be loaded with blanks, not bullets.

“Mr Luna said ‘I thought there were supposed to be blanks in the gun’,” Edwards Jr told the court.

Richard Rhoades, who was painting a house in Duncan on August 16 last year was the first witness at the preliminary hearing.

“I heard a loud pop,” Mr Rhoades said.

“About two to three seconds later I saw a little black car come around the corner.”

Rhoades said he and a woman attempted CPR but could not save Lane.

Lane, who had a baseball scholarship at Oklahoma’s East Central University, was staying at his girlfriend Sarah Harper’s home in Duncan when he was murdered

Police alleged Jones, who turned 18 in December, told them he, Edwards Jr and Luna were bored and randomly selected Lane to shoot when they saw him jogging along the street.

The boys face life in prison if convicted of the murder, although their lawyers will attempt to have them prosecuted as juveniles – which could cut potential sentences if found guilty.