Duncan Teen Charged With Murder In Shooting Death Of Australian

Wednesday, November 6th 2013, 8:15 pm
By: News 9

An unexpected twist in the case against three teenagers accused in the murder of Australian native Christopher Lane.

Stephens County Prosecutors upgraded charges against 17-year-old Michael Jones on Wednesday. He is now charged with murder in the first degree in the shooting death of Lane.

11/6/2013 Related Story: Duncan Teen To Be Charged With Murder In Shooting Death Of Australian

Michael Jones was the first of the three suspects to cooperate with investigators on August 16, 2013.

At that time, prosecutors charged Jones as a youthful offender with accessory to murder after the fact and driving a vehicle in the discharge of weapon.

The state alleged Jones slowed down his car so alleged shooter Chancey Luna could get a shot at Christopher Lane as he jogged down Country Club Road in Duncan. Investigators say all three decided to kill because they were bored.

10/17/2013 Related Story: New Search Warrants Issued In Duncan 'Thrill Kill' Murder Case

"If all three were present then all three should be charged the same, not one charged lesser than the others," Rick Bumpas, Chancey Luna's grandfather said following the court proceeding.

Still, the beefed up charges against Jones came as a surprise during what was expected to be his preliminary hearing.

Jones' charges now match the charges against his co-defendants Chancey Luna and James Edwards Jr.

"He is a threat to society," Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks told Judge Jerry Herberger when asking the court to deny Jones' bond.

D.A. Hicks also revealed new information in court when he told the judge that Jones is suspected in two other shootings prior to the murder. One was allegedly the same day as the murder and another one the day before the murder.

Prosecutors could not elaborate on the shootings due to a gag order in the case. Although, investigators initially revealed the teenagers were suspected of killing a donkey near the time of Lane's shooting death.

News 9 obtained a Duncan police report showing a donkey was shot and killed just six hours before Christopher Lane was gunned down.

More information will likely be revealed in a preliminary hearing on November 20.