Aussie’s drive- by killer out of prison

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - WORLD -

THE youngest of the three boys in­volved in the ran­dom drive-by shoot­ing mur­der of Aus­tralian base­ball player Chris Lane in Ok­la­homa has been al­lowed to leave jail.

James Ed­wards, who was 15 in 2013 when Lane was shot in the back while jog­ging and left to die by the side of a road, was sen­tenced to a max­i­mum 25 years jail just two years ago.

“As I un­der­stand, he was a very well-be­haved in­mate,” Matt El­liott, Ok­la­homa De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, said.

Ed­wards turned on his two co-ac­cused and be­came a pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness. He en­tered a guilty plea to an ac­ces­sory to mur­der charge and had 10 years of his 25-year sen­tence sus­pended.

He is be­ing mon­i­tored by GPS while he serves the re­main­der of his sen­tence. Mr El­liott stressed Ed­wards had not been re­leased from cus­tody. “That’s not the case at all,” Mr El­liott said.

“Some­one un­der GPS su­per­vi­sion is still be­ing mon­i­tored, they still have to check in, they still have to abide by our rules.”

Ed­wards must not as­so­ciate with crim­i­nals, use drugs or drink al­co­hol. He had de­scribed him­self as a “dumb 15-year-old” when he was in a Ford Fo­cus in Dun­can, Ok­la­homa, on Au­gust 13, 2013 driven by 17-year-old friend Michael Jones and with 16year-old Chancey Luna sit­ting in the back seat.

They ran­domly spot­ted Lane, a 22-year-old from Mel­bourne who had a schol­ar­ship to study and play base­ball at Ok­la­homa’s East Cen­tral Univer­sity, jog­ging along a res­i­den­tial street. Lane had never met Ed­wards, Jones or Luna.

They drove up be­hind Lane, and Luna reached for­ward to fire the fa­tal bul­let from a .22 re­volver out of the car win­dow into Lane’s back.

Chris Lane.

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