Oklahoma Gov. Fallin: 'Would Be Nice' If Obama Sent Condolences to Slain Student's Family

Image: Oklahoma Gov. Fallin: 'Would Be Nice' If Obama Sent Condolences to Slain Student's Family

Sunday, 25 Aug 2013 04:12 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Sunday that Australian college student Christopher Lane's death wasn't about gun control -- "it was about murder" -- and she believes it "would be nice" if President Barack Obama would express his condolences to Lane's family.

"I certainly am going to say something on behalf of the state of Oklahoma, to the family," the Republican governor told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace. "It would be nice if our nation were to certainly express their condolences, how very sorry we are."

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Prosecutors said Chancey Allen Luna, 16, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, gunned down 22-year-old Christopher Lane in Duncan because they were "bored and just wanted to see somebody die."

After Lane's murder, Tim Fischer, the former deputy prime minister of Australia, advised tourists they should boycott the United States to make a statement about gun control, but Fallin denied gun control was at fault.

"It's an issue about murder," she said. "It's an issue about three young men who did something very terrible to a very innocent bystander, that was jogging through his community, and it's very unfortunate what has happened."

Fallin said she understands that Australians are upset because of the shooting, but "people in Oklahoma are very upset too," as are many in the United States," but the Obama administration should express its condolences. I certainly know that's what I'm going to do."

District Attorney Jason Hicks told Wallace that the investigation is revealing more about the suspects, especially 15-year-old James Edwards, who has put out social media posts that include videos of him playing with a gun and flashing gang signs, as well as tweeting a number of racist messages.

Hicks said, though, that he won't treat the murder as a hate crime because there is nothing "that would lead us to believe that Christopher Lane was killed simply because of his nationality, or because of his race."

In addition, Oklahoma's hate crime statute is a misdemeanor, pointed out Hicks, "and I believe that it's more important for us to focus on the death of Christopher Lane, than it is to focus on the hate."

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Hicks, also said he doesn't know how he'll "ever be able to wrap my mind completely around the why or how three individuals could have such a callous attitude, and drive down the road, and pull the trigger, and take the life of somebody who's out for a jog. Don't know that I'll ever be able to give an explanation as to why there."

Meanwhile, Hicks called the three teenaged shooters "thugs," saying that he doesn't think they're children, but have "decided to play an adult game, and it's taken the life of another human being."

If the shooters are convicted as adults, they face life in prison without parole, but not the death penalty because of their age.


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