Hearing set for suspects in Lane homicide
DUNCAN Three of teens accused of the August killing of an Australian college baseball player will return to court Tuesday for their preliminary hearing.
Chancey Luna, 16; James Edwards Jr., 16; and Michael Dewayne Jones, 18; will be in Stephens County District Court at 9 a.m. for a hearing on charges of first-degree murder. The court date was rescheduled in November after the defense was granted the delay to review information turned over by the prosecution earlier in the month, according to a prior statement by District Attorney Jason Hicks.
Luna's defense attorneys told the judge that on Nov. 8 prosecutors gave them 53 discs "containing a gargantuan and voluminous amount of documentary, video, audio and photographic material." The attorneys said they had spent hours going over the material "but still need more time."
Because of their ages, Luna and Edwards are considered youthful offenders who may be tried as adults and may serve life terms or life without parole if convicted. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles may not be subjected to the death penalty.
Jones was originally charged as a youthful offender Aug. 20 with felony counts of use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact in first-degree murder. In early November, Hicks dropped those charges and filed a first-degree murder charge against Jones, who turned 18 Dec. 5, court records indicate.