Trial for murder of Aussie baseball player begins in US

Australian murder victim Chris Lane. AP Photo/Essendon Baseball Club

Australian murder victim Chris Lane. AP Photo/Essendon Baseball Club

Duncan, AAP – Jury selection has begun in Oklahoma for the murder trial of the teenager accused of shooting dead Australian baseball player Chris Lane.

If found guilty 17-year-old Chancey Luna faces a maximum sentence of life in jail without the prospect of release.

In a tedious process that could last four days, District Court judge Ken Graham, prosecutors and Luna’s legal team have begun questioning a jury pool of 170 Stephens County residents.

Lane, 22, from Melbourne, was jogging along a street in the rural southern Oklahoma city of Duncan in August, 2013, when he was shot in the back with a .22 calibre handgun.

Authorities allege Luna, who was in a Ford Focus with two teenage friends, randomly selected Lane and pulled the trigger as the car drove past.

Once the jury is selected, the trial is expected to last between seven and 10 days.

Luna, wearing a bright blue business shirt, was quietly watching the jury selection process in Duncan’s Stephens County Courthouse on Monday.

Lane, who was in Duncan visiting his girlfriend Sarah Harper when he was shot, had a baseball scholarship with Oklahoma’s East Central University.

Lane’s parents, Peter and Donna Lane, are scheduled to be called as witnesses.

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