'#Hate' slaying: accused's chilling tweets

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 24 Agustus 2013 | 20.02

James Edwards, 15, charged with first-degree murder. Source: Supplied

Danny Ford, Chief of Police in Duncan, Oklahoma, reveals more information on the murder of Australian student, Christopher Lane. Courtesy MMM

ONE of the Oklahoma teens accused of gunning down a jogger had allegedly tweeted an anti-white message and warned, ''It's time to start taken life's''.

The vicious comments on 15-year-old James Edwards' Twitter feed fueled speculation that the slaying of Christopher Lane, 22, was a hate crime and not a random attack by "bored" thugs.

Edwards, who is black, tweeted in April, ''90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.''

Three days before Mr Lane, who was white, was fatally shot last Friday while jogging, Edwards tweeted, ''With my n---as when it's time to start taken life's.''

And one day before the murder, he wrote on Facebook, ''I've never been this mad in my life.''

In another post that day, he wrote cryptically, ''Bang 2 drops in one day.''

Police in the small Oklahoma town of Duncan are said to be scouring social-media for clues to the possible motives of Edwards, Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 17, but so far have not publicly linked racial hatred to the death of Lane, an Australian student attending college in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship.

US prosecutors handling the case said Friday there was no evidence to suggest the killing was racially-motivated.

Several commentators have questioned why authorities had not pressed to have hate crime charges added to the indictment of Edwards and Luna, who are both charged with murder. However Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks said while authorities were aware of the comments made by Edwards, there was not enough evidence to pursue extra charges.

"At this point, the evidence does not support the theory that Christopher Lane was targeted based upon his race or nationality," Mr Hicks said in a statement. "The evidence is insufficient to establish that race was the primary motive in the murder of Christopher Lane."

Mr Hicks later told CNN that Luna came from a mixed race family, and that the third teenager arrested with the duo, Jones, was white.

"I have nothing in my files, paperwork or audio recordings that suggest that Christopher Lane was killed because of his race or nationality," Mr Hicks said on CNN.

James Francis Edwards Jr, 15, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, have been charged over the killing of Christopher Lane. Source: AP

Police said Jones confessed, telling investigators they decided to kill someone and randomly picked their victim.

''We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody,'' Jones was quoted as saying.

Mr Hicks agreed that this explanation appeared to be the most likely. "I tend to think that the police chief's (Danny Ford) comments, that is they did it out of boredom are probably accurate," he said.

Court documents show that when Jones was initially questioned by police, he said he couldn't reveal who pulled the trigger of the .22-caliber revolver that killed Lane because ''he would be killed,'' the Duncan Banner newspaper reported.

Joyce Smith of Duncan called 911 for emergency assistance for Christopher Lane. WARNING Sensitive material.

Another Duncan resident, James Johnson, who is black, said he alerted police when the teens threatened to kill his son because the youth had refused to join their gang, an offshoot of the Crips.

Mr Johnson called police, who quickly arrested the three teens in their black Ford Focus in the parking lot of a church near his home.

This picture was posted on the Facebook page of girlfriend Sarah Harper with the message: "I love you Christopher Ryan Lane. I love you so much babe. From 2009 until forever you will always be mine and in a very special and protected place in my heart." Supplied: Facebook Source: Supplied

Mr Johnson suggested one other explanation for the murder, claiming Lane's death was an "initiation" rite for the gang.

''I don't think it was an initiation; I know it was an initiation," he told Australian media. "My son told me that it was an initiation.''

Authorities in Duncan indicated their investigation is far from finished, noting they haven't found the murder weapon, which Jones said was given to somebody by one of the teens.

Mr Lane was a Melbourne native who went to the States to play baseball at East Central University in Ada. An online fund set up to help bring his body back to Australia topped $100,000 yesterday.

A private memorial for Lane was scheduled for tomorrow at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post. With AFP

Sarah Harper at the memorial when Christopher Lane was shot dead while jogging. Picture: AP Source: AP

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