Edwards charge has been reduced in Lane case - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Edwards charge has been reduced in Lane case

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DUNCAN, Okla._A stunning new development in the Chris Lane murder case occurred when the prosecution dismissed the murder charge against one of the teenage defendants.

17-year-old James Edwards Jr., was scheduled for his preliminary hearing Tuesday morning as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder. However, by Tuesday afternoon, his parents were informed that he would now be considered a juvenile in court, and he is facing a reduced charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

James Edwards Jr. originally had been given the promise that his charges would be reduced to accessory after the fact once he testified in court against suspects Michael Jones and Chancey Luna. During the court proceeding, several other factors were brought to light that all point away from any primary involvement by Edwards.

The majority of the crowd gathered at the Stephens County Courthouse for Edwards' hearing never saw the inside of the courtroom as the teen's parents were quietly pulled away to discuss their son's case in private. In court documents released Tuesday afternoon, the state officially dropped the suspect's murder charges and listed several reasons.

In addition to the teen's testimony during the preliminary phase, the state was able to confirm that no gunshot residue was present on Edwards the day of Lane's death. In addition, there was no evidence of any conspiracy or other involvement of Edwards in the murder and that evidence gathered since the shooting further implicates Luna and Jones and further casts doubt on the role of Edwards.

Now that his murder charges have been dismissed, so has his adult status. He now enters juvenile court accused of concealing the murder weapon, charges that the state says reflects Edwards' involvement more accurately.

District Attorney Jason Hicks would not comment on any possible sentences that Edwards could now face, however, the state has filed another motion to re-certify Edwards as an adult in this case. An adult charged with accessory to first degree murder after the fact could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Michael Jones and Chancey Luna are currently scheduled to stand trial for the death of Christopher Lane in August. Meanwhile, a fourth suspect, Odesse Barnes, is scheduled to be back in court on accessory charges next month.

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