DUNCAN, Okla._The three teenage boys accused of murdering Christopher Lane, the 23 year old Australian national made their first court appearances Tuesday afternoon at the Stephens County Courthouse. Media from across the globe flocked to the quiet town to get a glimpse of the teens.
Each made their appearance one by one. Chancey Luna, Michael Jones, James Edwards Jr. Luna and Edwards, Jr. both charged with murder in the first degree, held without bond, facing up to life in prison. Jones was charged as a youthful offender on lesser counts but, still being held on one million dollars bond.
Emotions ran high as the suspects' families gathered at the Stephens County Courthouse. After court was dismissed, loved ones and scores of media gathered in the lobby to hear district attorney Jason Hicks' explanation behind the charges.
"This is not Duncan, Oklahoma; this is not Stephens County Oklahoma. This is not something that usually happens here, and I'm going to do everything I can do to ensure that we see these three thugs pay for what they did," stated Hicks.
Families of all of the boys maintained their sons' innocence including James Edwards senior who feels his son, the youngest of the three, 15 year old James Edwards Jr., shouldn't be charged as an adult.
"I feel that it doesn't really matter, that he doesn't really understand it at all. He don't know, he really doesn't understand how serious it is," proclaimed Edwards.
Hicks believes each suspect has been given the appropriate charge for their role in the crime, especially Edwards who has displayed no remorse for his actions.
"He was doing what we refer to as a little dance and turning circles and kind of laughing and carrying on. As he was being processed into the Stephens County jail on murder one charge (like it was a joke) it was just a great big joke to him," said Hicks.
But there was nothing funny about what happened at the courthouse. Tears filled the halls and the suspects families grieved for their pain and for the victim's family.
"They have my condolences and my sympathy but I would like for people to know in this community that if we would reach out to the youth and do more things with them this stuff could be prevented," said Rachel Padilla, sister to one of the suspects.