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Murder charge dropped against one teen suspect in Oklahoma 'thrill kill' case

By Ralph Ellis, CNN
updated 6:46 PM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 3 teens accused of fatally shooting Chris Lane, a jogger
  • Murder charge dropped against James Edwards Jr.
  • Edwards will testify against the other two defendants
  • Lane was an Australian who played college baseball

(CNN) -- A murder charge was dropped against one of three teenagers accused of fatally shooting a college baseball player in a random "thrill kill," said the district attorney's office in Stephens County, Oklahoma.

James Edwards Jr., 17, will now be tried as a juvenile on a charge of concealing a weapon, reported CNN affiliate KSWO. Edwards will have to testify against former co-defendants Michael Jones and Chancey Luna, who still face charges of first-degree murder.

Police had said the three teens shot Chris Lane -- an Australian attending East Central University on a baseball scholarship -- in August 2013 as he was jogging in Duncan, a town of about 23,000 people located about 80 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

Authorities had said the three youths saw Lane passing by and shot him because "they had nothing to do."

Jones and Luna have pleaded not guilty.

KSWO reported that no gunshot residue was present on Edwards the day of Lane's death and that other evidence cast doubt on his involvement in the killing.

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