405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW

Jury Recommends Life Without Parole for Teen Convicted in Duncan Shooting

20-Apr-2015

When he was only 16 years old, Chancey Luna pointed a gun out of a vehicle, aimed at a jogger. and fired. Christopher Lane, 22, fell dead. The incident made international headlines for many reasons--among them, the fact that Lane was an Australian citizen playing baseball in the United States. Another element that captured public attention was the age of the shooter and his companions. Accompanying the 16-year-old Luna were the car's driver, 17-year-old Michael Jones, and a friend, 15-year-old James Edwards, Jr. Perhaps most shocking was the randomness of the crime and the motive for it. Just after his arrest, Jones allegedly told police that they killed the man as he drove by because they were "bored."

Since that time, first degree murder charges were dismissed against Edwards, who agreed to testify for the prosecution and is now charged as a juvenile with being an accessory to murder after the fact. Jones pleaded guilty to second degree murder, accepting a life sentence in return for his refusal to testify against Luna. He will be eligible for parole when he is in his 50's. Another man, 22-year-old Oddesse Barnes, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact for concealing the murder weapon. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

As Luna awaited trial, his defense attorney tried in vain to get the venue moved, saying the teen could not get a fair trial in Stephens County. He also failed to get the teen, who was charged as an adult, recertified as a juvenile or youthful offender. Finally, at trial, the defense asked the judge to allow the jury to consider lesser charges, including second degree murder and first degree manslaughter. Those requests, too, were denied. 

Last week, Chancey Luna stood trial for the murder of Christopher Lane. His defense attorney started the case with a bold statement: that Luna was, in fact, the shooter. He said that the teen fired the gun to "scare" the jogger, but that he had no premeditation or intent to kill anyone. Edwards testified that he heard both Luna and Jones say that they thought there were blanks in the gun. Without premeditation or intent, there is no first degree murder, but rather a lesser crime of second degree murder or first degree manslaughter. Luna did not take the stand in his own defense. In fact, the only defense witness was the teen's mother.

After both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases, the jury began to deliberate the fate of the 17-year-old defendant. 

They found him guilty.

First degree murder is punishable by either life in prison or life without parole (a person who commits a murder before he or she turns 18 is not eligible for the death penalty, even if the crime is considered "especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel"). While formal sentencing will not take place until June, the jury has recommended the maximum sentence of life without parole.  



All News

More News

Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections Denies Death Penalty Protocol "Deadline"

13-Aug-2018

Oklahoma, the state that invented lethal injection, continues to b..

Lincoln County Abuse Case Has Some Calling for Home School Reform

28-Jul-2018

The case of a 15-year-old boy rescued from a family farm near Meek..

Oklahoma Health Department Seeks Legal Advice after Amending Medical Marijuana Rules

17-Jul-2018

When Oklahomans passed State Question 788 last month, they left th..

No Special Session Necessary after Passage of Medical Marijuana in SQ 788

30-Jun-2018

Just a week and a half after announcing that a special session of ..

New Oklahoma Liquor Laws to Take Effect in October

14-Jun-2018

It's summertime in Oklahoma. The temperatures are soaring and peop..

Charges Dismissed After Linebacker's Ex-Girlfriend Admits to Lying About Abuse

23-May-2018

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster will be able to rejoi..

Oklahoma Man Convicted of Cyberstalking in Federal Court

02-May-2018

A 46-year old Crescent man was convicted in federal court last wee..

Oklahoma Legislators Continue to Eye Criminal Justice Reform

22-Apr-2018

With Oklahoma prisons overcrowded, and with the state at the top o..

Oklahoma Soon to Lead the Nation in Incarceration Rate

02-Apr-2018

As Oklahoma teachers descend upon the state Capitol this week to p..

Domestic Call Ends in Multiple Charges for Man Accused in Standoff

19-Mar-2018

Nicoma Park police and Oklahoma County sheriff's deputies respondi..

×