DA Hicks: Lane murder will not be tried as hate crime; new 911 call released

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

SHERMAN, TX -- A new 911 call has been released in the Chris Lane murder. we hear the call that led to the arrest of the three teens.

In the wake of this 911 call that was released Friday the caller, James Johnson, is saying he believes the killing of Chris Lane should be blamed on gang violence, not boredom. But, investigators aren't buying it.

Dispatch: "Duncan Police Department."
Johnson: "Yes, I need to get a officer over to 111 West Ash. Some young kids over here with some guns."

This is the phone call James Johnson made to police after he says three teens, James Edwards Junior, Chancy Luna and Michael Jones were outside his home, threatening to harm his own son because he wouldn't join a gang.

"The guy from in the house told me he's supposed to have a gun and he got the texts that he threatened to kill him," Johnson told dispatch.

His call led to the arrest of the 15, 16 and 17 year olds.

Johnson tells other news outlets he did not know about the killing of Lane at the time of the call. Johnson says he believes Lane's killing wasn't just a random act, but a gang initiation.

The sister of one of the accused teens agrees.

"I believe that he may have joined in a gang because they promised him so much," Rachel Padilla said.

But Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford, and Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks said they have no evidence the teens belonged to a gang and there's no evidence of any gang activity in Stephens County.

Ford says James Edwards told investigators "We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody."

"The only way I can describe this is I'm appalled," Hicks said to the media Tuesday.

DA Jason Hicks says there's been criticism regarding the charges against the three men.

Edwards and Luna, have been charged as adults with first-degree murder. Jones is charged as being an accessory and using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon.

Hicks released this statement:

"Questions have arisen regarding the offense not being prosecuted as a hate crime. At this point, the evidence does not support the theory that Christopher Lane was targeted based upon his race or nationality."

Hicks says he acknowledges social media postings allegedly made by some of the teens appear racial in nature but, "the evidence is insufficient to establish that race was the primary motive in the murder".


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