Aussie teen shot dead by 'bored' US trio

Three boys are expected to appear in court on first degree murder chargers. Photo / Thinkstock
Three boys are expected to appear in court on first degree murder chargers. Photo / Thinkstock

Prosecutors filed charges against three teenagers after police said the boys randomly targeted an Australian baseball player as he jogged and shot him in the back, killing him, to avoid the boredom of an Oklahoma summer day.

Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, died Friday along a tree-lined road on Duncan's well-to-do north side.

Two teenagers, 15- and 16-year-olds from the gritty part of the town, were charged with first-degree murder and ordered held without bond.

A third, age 17, was accused of being an accessory after the fact and with driving a vehicle while a weapon was discharged.

He said in open court "I pulled the trigger,'' but the judge directed him to remain quiet and said today was not the day to discuss the facts of the case.

The boy cried.

His bond was set at US$1 million.

Police Chief Dan Ford has said the boys had the simplest of motives. He said in a variety of interviews that the 17-year-old had told officers that they were bored and killed Lane for "the fun of it.''

Meanwhile, family and friends on two continents mourned Christopher Lane, who gave up pursuit of an Australian football career to pursue his passion for baseball, an American pastime. His girlfriend tearfully laid a cross at a streetside memorial in Duncan, while half a world away, an impromptu memorial grew at the home plate he protected as a catcher on his youth team in Melbourne.

"We just thought we'd leave it,'' Sarah Harper said as she visited the memorial. "This is his final spot.''

Police said witnesses rushed to help Lane after hearing a shot Friday and seeing him stagger and collapse.

"He was face down on the ground, and he was shot in the back with a .22 revolver,''
Richard Rhodes told Australian broadcasters.

"I had another lady stop, and we tried CPR on him. And he passed away right here.''

Peter Lane 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 told Sky News TV.

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