U.S. fund for murdered Australian student surpasses $113,000

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 22, 2013 7:16 PM

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) - A fund to aid the family of Christopher Lane, the 23-year-old Australian university student police say was murdered "for the fun of it" by three bored Oklahoma teenagers, has surpassed $113,000, according to the "gofundme" website.

The donations, which totaled $113,311 (AUD $125,524) as of Thursday afternoon, are to cover expenses for Lane's family to be able to fly to Oklahoma to receive his body and return him to Melbourne, the website said.

Lane, who was attending East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, on a baseball scholarship, was killed by a gunshot in the back on Friday as he was jogging in Duncan, Oklahoma.

The organizer of the Christopher Lane Fund, Marshall Veal, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On the website, he said that "through all the confusion and hard times we have been able to clear things up and Christopher Lane is being taken back to his family in Australia."

According to the Duncan Banner newspaper, Veal is a former teammate of Lane's.

Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, have been charged with first degree murder, according to the Stephens County District Attorney's office. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, has been charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to murder after the fact, the District Attorney's office said.

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According to police, Jones said the three teens decided to kill someone "for the fun of it."

Police said Jones told them on Sunday that the three teenagers saw Lane out jogging and decided he would be their target, followed him in their vehicle and then shot him. Jones was driving the car, and Luna fired the gun, according to prosecutors.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Ken Wills)