Fourth person charged in Oklahoma killing of Australian athlete
By Heide Brandes
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – An Oklahoma man was charged on Monday as an accessory after the fact in connection with the killing last summer of an Australian athlete who had been attending a state university, prosecutors said.
Oddesse Barnes, 22, was the fourth person charged in the killing of Christopher Lane, a Melbourne resident who was shot in the back while out jogging in Duncan, Oklahoma, a town about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City, prosecutors said.
No additional details about the charge brought by the Stephens County District Attorney’s office were immediately available on Monday. According to previous court documents, Barnes allegedly hid the weapon used in the shooting.
Barnes pleaded not guilty on Monday.
Three teens were charged as adults with first-degree murder in Lane’s killing last August: James Edwards Jr., Michael Dewayne Jones and Chancey Allen Luna.
Edwards has agreed to testify against Jones and Luna in a possible deal with prosecutors, who have said Edwards would face a lesser charge if he continued to testify through trial.
Edwards testified during preliminary hearings that Luna had fired the fatal shot from a car driven by Jones. He also testified that Luna and Jones both had indicated they thought the gun held blanks.
Jones and Luna have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are scheduled to go on trial in August in the killing of Lane, who was attending East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.
Oklahoma law allows a death sentence for people convicted of first-degree murder, but the teenagers charged with first-degree murder in this case were under age 18 when Lane was killed and cannot receive a capital sentence under U.S. law.
(Editing by David Bailey and Cynthia Osterman)