Three teenagers shoot and kill Australian college baseball player in Oklahoma 'because they were bored'
Christopher Lane was shot in the back whilst visiting his girlfriend in Duncan
Three teenagers shot and killed an Australian college baseball player in a random attack because they were bored, an American court heard on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Jason Hicks told an Oklahoma court that Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne was shot once in the back after being chosen at random by the three teenagers believed to be involved.
Christopher died at the roadside in Duncan from his injuries, despite witnesses and emergency services rushing to administer aid.
Two teenage boys have been charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as adults under Oaklahoma law. A third boy has been charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder. He will be considered a youthful offender but will be tried in an adult court.
On of the teenagers wept in the courtroom and tried to speak about the incident but was silenced by the judge, who said it wasn't the time to discuss facts in the case.
The two younger teens face life in prison without parole if convicted on the murder charge.
“I'm appalled,” Hicks told reporters after the hearing concluded. “This is not supposed to happen in this community.”
Lane played baseball at East Central University in Ada, 85 miles (135 kilometers) east of Duncan, and had been visiting his girlfriend and her parents in Duncan after they returned to the US from Australia about a week ago.
Duncan Police Chief Dan Ford said the boys wanted to overcome a boring end to their summer vacation — classes in Duncan resumed Tuesday — and that Jones told officers they were bored and killed Lane for “the fun of it.”
Family and friends on two continents were mourning Lane, who gave up pursuit of an Australian football career to pursue his passion for baseball, an American pastime. His girlfriend, Sarah Harper, tearfully laid a cross at a streetside memorial in Duncan, while half a world away, an impromptu memorial grew at the home plate he protected as a catcher on his youth team.
“We just thought we'd leave it,” Harper said as she visited the memorial in Duncan. “This is his final spot.”
His old baseball team, Essendon, scheduled a memorial game for Sunday to raise funds for Lane's parents as they worked to have their boy's remains sent home.
Tony Cornish, president of the Essendon Baseball Club, said Lane played with the club for 12 years. Cornish said Lane was part of the club until he left to attend college in the US.
Tim Fischer, former Australia deputy prime minister, criticized the National Rifle Association and asked Australians to avoid the US as a way to put pressure on its Congress to act on gun control.
“Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice,” Fischer told the Herald Sun. “I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers, (but) it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American.”
Additional reporting by Associated Press
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