Hundreds gather in Australia to honor college baseball player randomly killed

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by KMOV.com staff and CBS News

KMOV.com

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 12:21 PM

(KMOV) -- Hundreds of mourners gathered in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend to remember a college baseball player killed in Oklahoma last week.

Christopher Lane, 22, was randomly shot and killed while jogging near his girlfriend’s family’s home in Duncan, Oklahoma.

Lane was attending East Central University in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship. His parents say the outpouring of support from his friends is helping them cope.

A funeral for Lane will be held in Melbourne next week.

Authorities charged 15-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr. and 16-year-old Chancey Allen Luna with first-degree murder in Lane’s death on Tuesday. Police say the two killed Lane  to overcome boredom. Under Oklahoma law, anyone who is 15 or older and facing a first-degree murder charge is automatically tried in adult court.

Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with being an accessory after the fact and with using a vehicle during the discharge of weapon. Jones was charged as a youthful offender but will still have his case heard in adult court.

No bond was set for the younger boys. Bond was set at $1 million for Jones.

Lane’s American girlfriend said last week she was struggling with the incident.

“He didn’t deserve any of this,” Lane’s girlfriend, Sarah Harper, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “It’s heartbreaking that it was such a random choice those guys made that drastically altered so many lives in the process.”

Witnesses rushed to help Lane after hearing a shot and seeing him stagger and collapse on a road in Duncan, a south-central Oklahoma town of about 24,000 residents.

“He was face down on the ground and he was shot in the back with a .22 revolver,” builder Richard Rhodes told Australian broadcasters near a roadside memorial at the scene. “I had another lady stop and we tried CPR on him. And he passed away right here.” 

Harper said she and Lane had only returned to the United States from Australia last week.

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