Autopsy doctor testifies in trial in Australian player death

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 16, 2015 6:14 PM
Autopsy doctor testifies in trial in Australian player death

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) — The doctor who performed the autopsy on a college baseball player from Australia who was shot in the back while jogging in Oklahoma said Thursday that even immediate medical attention would not have saved his life.

"Apart from a miracle, no," said Dr. Inas Yacoub, a forensic pathologist with the state medical examiner's office, The Oklahoman reported (http://bit.ly/1aBuod9 )

Yacoub testified in the first-degree murder trial of 17-year-old Chancey Allen Luna, who is charged with shooting Christopher Lane, 22, in Duncan in August 2013, that he recovered a .22-caliber bullet from Lane's body.

"Despite being small, it damaged vital structures and caused significant bleeding," Yacoub told jurors, striking two major blood vessels, puncturing both lungs and breaking two ribs.

The victim's mother, Donna Lane, wiped tears from her face when prosecutors showed jurors a photo of the bloody T-shirt her son was wearing.

The prosecution rested following Yacoub's testimony.

Defense attorneys acknowledge that Luna fired the fatal shot but say he was only trying to scare Lane, a native of Melbourne, Australia, who was in Oklahoma on a college baseball scholarship. Lane was about to start his senior year at East Central University in Ada and was in Duncan visiting his girlfriend.

Luna is not expected to testify and the defense indicated it may call just one witness, Luna's mother, Jennifer Luna. She said outside the courthouse that she doesn't believe her son is guilty, despite his attorneys' comments to the jury.

"Those are court-appointed lawyers. If I had the money to get a real lawyer, it wouldn't go this way," Jennifer Luna sad. "If my son did it, it wasn't on purpose. It wasn't meant to be. My son would never intentionally try to hurt somebody at all."

The teenager faces life in prison either with or without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder. Defense attorneys plan to ask that the jury be allowed to consider second-degree murder in the case, which carries a prison term of 10 years to life in prison.

Closing arguments and the start of jury deliberations are expected on Friday.