- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma judge on Thursday rejected a request to move the murder trial of a 17-year-old charged in the shooting death of an Australian college baseball player.

Attorneys for Chancey Luna of Duncan asked that the trial be moved from Stephens County to Lawton or Oklahoma City because of widespread publicity about the case. Their motion also contended that Luna cannot get a fair trial because law enforcement officials made “untruthful comments and unfair characterizations of the facts” immediately after the shooting. They do not specify what those comments were.

A gag order in the case prohibits attorneys and other officials involved from commenting.

Judge Ken Graham said that he believes a fair and impartial jury can be found. The Oklahoman reports (https://bit.ly/1NEsMfr ) that Graham said he may revisit the question during jury selection - scheduled to begin April 13.

Luna is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 22-year-old Christopher Lane as Lane jogged along a Duncan street. Lane was a member of the East Central University baseball team and was visiting his girlfriend in Duncan.

Defense attorneys have not disputed that Luna fired the fatal shot, but claim the evidence shows Luna thought he was firing blanks.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Luna faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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