Australian baseball player Chris Lane had a baseball scholarship to East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. In August 2013, while walking down a street in the nearby town of Duncan, he was shot to death by three teenagers who chose their victim at random.
Two of the murderers, Chancey Luna and Michael Jones, who were prosecuted as adults, have already been sentenced. Luna, 16 at the time of the murder, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; Jones, who was 17 at the time, received a life sentence, and is eligible for parole in 38 years.
James Edwards, who at age 15 was the youngest of those involved in the crime, was sentenced on June 14 to 25 years in prison, with 15 of those years suspended, reports the Daily Mail.
James testified against his friends in exchange for leniency and pleaded guilty as an accessory to murder. At his sentencing, he said he was a “dumb 15-year-old” at the time of the crime, and claimed that he did not know his friends were planning on murdering anybody that day.
The sports connection to the story caught the attention of Buzz Bissinger, author of "Friday Night Lights," the bestselling book and television series about high school football in Texas.
In a feature article for Vanity Fair that was published after the crime took place, Bissinger described the scene of the crime as “a town of roughly 23,000 [that] takes pride in its homespun image, its simple values, its churchgoing, its virulently anti-Obama politics.”
Certainly not a place where you would expect a promising athlete from Australia to be the victim of a drive-by shooting.