02/04/2014 03:20 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2014

James Francis Edwards Testifies In Murder Of Australian Christopher Lane


One of three teens accused in the fatal shooting of an Australian man in Oklahoma last August said he and his friends thought the gun only held blanks.

In court Tuesday, suspect James Francis Edwards, Jr. told a judge that he was in the front seat of the car when co-defendant Chancey Luna shot at Christopher Lane from the back seat, according to the Associated Press. Lane was shot in the back and died.

Edwards agreed to testify against his co-defendants, Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 18, in exchange for reduced charges. All three teens faced first-degree murder charges in Lane's death.

Edwards told a judge that he and his friends believed the gun contained only blanks, according to the AP:

According to Edwards, Luna said to Jones that he thought the gun only had blanks inside them. Jones then responded: "Me too. I'm sorry," Edwards said.

Earlier today, prosecutors amended the charges against Edwards to include one count of accessory after the fact. They alleged that Edwards, 16, called someone from jail and asked them to dispose of the gun allegedly used in the fatal shooting.

In August, Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said one of the boys told investigators that they had been "bored and didn't have anything to do, so [they] decided to kill somebody."

Richard Rhoades, a painter who was working on a house near the scene of the crime, also gave testimony in court Tuesday.

"I heard a loud pop," Rhoades said at the preliminary hearing, according to "About two to three seconds later I saw a little black car come around the corner."

Police are expected to provide ballistic evidence and surveillance footage from the Aug. 16 drive-by shooting, the website reported.


Christopher Lane