US man pleads in slaying of Australian baseball player

March 24, 2015 GMT

DUNCAN, Oklahoma (AP) — A U.S. man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday in the shooting death of a college baseball player from Australia.

The Oklahoman ( ) reports that 19-year-old Michael DeWayne Jones was sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the killing of Christopher Lane in 2013. He will be eligible for parole in 36 years.

Prosecutors say Jones was driving when a friend in his car fired the shot that killed Lane, who was out jogging in the city of Duncan, southwest of Oklahoma City. As part of the plea deal, Jones will not testify against his friend, Chancey Allen Luna, whose trial on a first-degree murder charge is set to begin next month.

Lane, a 22-year-old from Melbourne, was visiting his girlfriend before starting his senior year at East Central University in Ada. Investigators have said he was randomly targeted by bored teenagers.


Jones had been charged with first-degree murder, and could have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

In court Tuesday, Jones apologized to Lane’s girlfriend and her parents, and asked for forgiveness.

“I pray for you all daily,” he said.


Information from: The Oklahoman,