August 23, 2013

DA: 'Duncan murder was not a hate crime'

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


Stephens and Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks dispelled rumors this week that the murder of an Australian baseball player in Duncan on Aug. 16 was race related. 

“At this point, the evidence does not support the theory that Christopher Lane was targeted based upon his race or nationality,” stated Hicks in a release.  

Although Hicks acknowledges that social media postings allegedly made by some of the accused  appear racial in nature, “the evidence is insufficient to establish that race was the primary motive in the murder of Christopher Lane.”

Earlier this week James Edwards, Jr. and Chancey Luna were formally charged  with Murder in the First Degree.  

The charged crime is punishable by life or life without parole in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. 

In addition, Michael Jones was charged with using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a firearm and accessory after the fact to murder, which are potentially punishable by life and 45 years in the department of corrections respectively. Hicks said he made the particular filing decisions after reviewing the evidence presented by law enforcement and the applicable statutes.