The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

State & National News

August 20, 2013

Mom of Okla. murder suspect doesn't believe he pulled the trigger

DUNCAN, Okla. — The mother of one of three teenagers arrested in a random shooting death that's shocked this small Oklahoma town said he needs to be punished if he was involved "but I do believe in my heart that he did not pull the trigger."

Jennifer Luna said she has not talked with her son since his arrest, along with two companions, Friday night in the murder of Christopher Lane, 22, who was shot in the back while out jogging. Lane, a native of Australia, played baseball for East Central University in Ada, Okla., and was visiting his girlfriend in Duncan.

Police Chief Danny Ford said Lane was shot from behind as the teens -- ages 15, 16 and 17 -- drove by him because they were bored and wanted to see someone die. They were scheduled to be arraigned in court Tuesday on a first-degree murder complaint.

Ford said the 17-year-old driver of the car admitted all three were at the scene of the shooting, and that the 16-year-old pulled the trigger of a handgun that fired the fatal bullet.

"They saw Christoper go by, and one of them said, 'There's our target,'" said Ford. "The boy who has talked to us said, 'We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.'"

The 16-year-old's mother said her son was kicked out of Duncan High School last year, but planned to return as a sophomore when classes resumed Tuesday.

"He said, 'Mom, I'm ready to go back, I'm ready to do something with my life,'" said Luna, who described herself as a hard-working single mother.

"I just don't understand these kids, I really don't," she added. "I don't know why they had to prove a point; I just don't understand. I tell my kids all the time, 'Make something out of your lives because this is hard.'"

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