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Charges expected in killing of Australian by 'bored' U.S. teenagers

By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Charges are expected to be filed on Tuesday in the suspected killing of an Australian university student in Oklahoma by three "bored" teenagers who decided to kill someone for fun, according to prosecutors and police.

Christopher Lane, of Melbourne, was found dead of a gunshot wound Friday, according to police in Duncan, Oklahoma, located about 81 miles south of Oklahoma City.

Lane was out jogging during a visit to his girlfriend and her family in Duncan Friday when he was shot in the back, police said. He attended East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where he was on a baseball scholarship.

According to police, three juvenile male suspects were arrested in connection with the shooting, and the 17-year-old who was driving the car carrying the suspects allegedly admitted that they decided to kill someone "for the fun of it." The other teens were 15 and 16, police said.

A representative of the Stephens County District Attorney's office said charges would be filed. The office is expected to issue a statement later on Tuesday.

Police say a witness called 911 when she saw Lane stagger across the road and fall.

According to police, the 17-year-old suspect told police on Sunday that they saw Lane jogging and decided he would be their target. Ford said the three followed him in their vehicle and shot Lane in the back.

Police used surveillance video from area businesses to identify the vehicle, which was found later at a church parking lot with the three suspects inside after a caller reported three youths at the address with guns who were threatening to kill someone.

The vehicle's trunk also contained a shotgun with the serial numbers sanded off, but the actual weapon used in the shooting has not been found, police said.

Lane's father, Peter Lane, called the killing "senseless" in an interview broadcast on CNN from Australia.

"There's not going to be any good coming out of this because it was so senseless," Lane said. "It happened, it's wrong and we're just trying to deal with it the best we can."

Lane had started as a catcher for the ECU Tigers.

In a statement, ECU baseball coach Dino Rosato said Lane was a well-respected teammate.

"He was an absolute joy to coach," said Rosato. "He set a great example for all of his teammates, but more importantly for the younger players. He was a mature student-athlete who his teammates could look to for advice and support."

(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Andrew Hay)

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