Published August 22, 2013
One of three teens charged in the 'thill kill' of an Australian college student in Oklahoma last week has previously posted racist tweets on his Twitter account, according to a report.
The Daily Caller reported that the tweets belonged to James Francis Edwards, 15. One tweet from his account reads, "90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM." Another post read, "Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:)"
The Daily Caller's report noted that 'woods' is used as a derogatory term for white people.
Edwards and friend Chancey Allen Luna, 16, were both charged with first-degree murder as adults Tuesday and are being held without bond in the town of Duncan, which is about 30 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.
Bond was set at $1 million for 17-year-old Michael Jones, who allegedly drove the vehicle carrying the other suspects. He was charged with the use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to murder after the fact. Jones is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court.
Jones named Luna as the gunman, police said.
Police Chief Dan Ford said the victim, Chris Lane, 22, appeared to have been chosen at random, saying in a variety of media interviews since Friday's killing that one suspect told officers that he and other boys were bored and that they followed Lane and killed him for "the fun of it."
Lane was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Okla., and was in Duncan, Okla., visiting his girlfriend when he was shot and killed. Some bystanders tried to perform CPR on Lane, but he was unconscious and stopped breathing before an ambulance arrived.
Lane's killing has attracted international attention about a month after George Zimmerman, a community watch organizer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen, was acquitted by a Florida jury in a racially charged case.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a tweet Wednesday that he was "praying for the family of Chris Lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail."
Prosecutor Jason Hicks called the boys "thugs" in court, saying Luna was sitting in the rear seat of a car when he pulled the trigger on a .22 caliber revolver and shot Lane once in the back. Hicks said Jones was driving the vehicle and Edwards was in the passenger seat.
Edwards has had run-ins with the law previously and had been in court Friday, the day of the killing, to sign documents related to his juvenile probation.
Peter Lane, meanwhile, told Australian media there was no explanation for his son's death.
"It is heartless and to try to understand it is a short way to insanity," he said.
Lane met Sarah Harper, a collegiate golfer from Duncan. Friends expected them to marry after graduation.
"They were really a good couple and fun to be around," Newgent said.
Harper transferred to Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond during Lane's last year at Redlands. When Lane was looking to move from the community college to a four-year college to finish his degree, he wanted to stay in Oklahoma "because Sarah was in Oklahoma," Newgent said.
Lane and Harper had recently returned from a trip to Australia, and Lane was visiting Harper and her parents in Duncan, a south-central Oklahoma city of about 24,000. Lane was on a training run Friday when three teens chose him at random and shot him for "the fun of it," police said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report