The Oklahoma boys charged with the murder of Chris Lane left a trail of digital evidence that further implicates them. Various pictures, videos, tweets and posts were haphazardly strewn across the internet and may be used in the courtroom, proving that while spoken words are fleeting, written words are eternal.
Twenty-two-year-old Chris Lane was jogging in the sleepy town of Duncan last Friday when 15-year-old James Edwards and 16-year-old Chancey Lane mercilessly shot him in the back, leaving him for dead in a nearby gutter. The teens then fled the scene, speeding away in their car with 17-year-old Michael Jones behind the wheel.
Callous to the loss of life, the boys chronicled their crimes as they were taking place, posting on Facebook and sending out tweets bragging of their efforts.Further investigation into the online world of these teen’s lives reveals they may have had not only the means to commit these heinous crimes, but also the motive. Multiple pictures and videos have surfaced showing the boys arrogantly brandishing weapons while flashing gang signs, as well as piles of cash littered across a table. While police have not said definitively if this killing was gang related, the evidence shows that may certainly be one possibility.
According to police investigators, one of the alleged killers had left an ominous message on Facebook prior to the shooting, reading, “Bang. Two drops in two hours.”
As the digitization of our world becomes increasingly prevalent, so does ease of access to the troves of virtual information. In a time where privacy is a luxury, these murderous young men forewent their anonymity, choosing instead to make blatantly public their sinister intent. Now, it seems, it may be used against them in a court of law.
Edwards and Lane were charged with first degree murder and are held without bond; if convicted they face life in prison, and possibly the death penalty. Jones was charged with use of a vehicle while a weapon was discharged and accessory after the fact to first degree murder. His bond is set at $1million.