Michael DeWayne Jones, 19, was at the wheel of drive-by shooting that killed Christopher Lane
An Oklahoma teen has apologized and pleaded guilty to his role in the 2013 murder of Christopher Lane, ang Australian college baseball player who was shot by a group of passing teens while he was out jogging, one of whom told police, “We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”
In a plea agreement, high school dropout Michael DeWayne Jones, 19, admitted steering his Ford Focus used in the drive-by shooting, and was sentenced to life in prison, The Oklahoman reports.
Another teen, Chancey Allen Luna, 17, is charged with first-degree murder for firing the fatal shot, while a third, James Francis Edwards Jr., 17, has been charged as accessory to murder after the fact. Prosecutors said all three were riding in Jones’ vehicle at the time.
“I was aware that Chancey had a .22-caliber revolver in my car,” Jones admitted in a signed statement. “I saw Chancey shoot the jogger. I believe that Mr. Lane died as a result of me driving my car while Chancey Luna fired the revolver at him.”
Lane, 22, from Melbourne, Australia, who was attending college on a baseball scholarship, was about to begin his senior year at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. He was visiting his girlfriend, Sarah Harper, in Duncan, Oklahoma, when he was shot in the back while running in midday on Aug. 16, 2013.
Jones’ plea of guilty to second-degree murder averted a trial that was set to begin next month. He is eligible for parole in 36 years. If he’d gone to trial and been convicted on the charge of first-degree murder that was filed against him, he faced prison without parole.
In the Stephens County courtroom where he was sentenced, Jones turned toward Harper and her parents and said he was “truly sorry,” according to The Oklahoman. And he asked for their forgiveness, saying, “I pray for you all daily.”
A fourth man, Oddesse John David Barnes, 23, of Duncan, was sentenced in January to serve 12 years as an accessory to murder after he admitted to concealing the .22-calibre revolver used in the attack.
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