The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 20, 2013

2 teens charged with random murder of college baseball player

(Continued)

DUNCAN, Okla. —

The mother of the teen identified by prosecutors as the shooter said in an interview Monday that her son needs to be punished if he was involved "but I do believe in my heart that he did not pull the trigger."

Jennifer Luna said her son was kicked out of Duncan High School last year, but planned to return as a sophomore when classes resumed Tuesday. "He said, 'Mom, I'm ready to go back, I'm ready to do something with my life,'" said Luna, who described herself as a hard-working single mother.

"I just don't understand these kids, I really don't," she added. "I don't know why they had to prove a point; I just don't understand. I tell my kids all the time, 'Make something out of your lives because this is hard.'"

Luna said her heart goes out to the victim's Australian family. "I feel for them, I really do," she said. "And I apologize."

The victim's mother, in an interview with an Australian TV station, said if the teenage suspects "don't get what they deserve now and in the present, they will eternally. They're just evil people."

Peter Lane, the victim's father, said the killing was "heartless, and to try to understand it is a short way to insanity. Somebody we all love so much is not going to come home."

Sarah Harper, the victim's girlfriend, said she was finishing her shift at the nearby Duncan Golf & Tennis Club pro shop when her boyfriend was cut down. She called it a senseless killing, and posted this message on her Facebook page: "So much tragedy in our small community. Lord, heal us all."

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