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Aussie's Oklahoma killer scores court win

AAP logoAAP 2/12/2016 By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

The devastated family of murdered Australian baseball player Chris Lane say they are disappointed an Oklahoma appeals court has tossed the life without possibility of parole jail sentence handed down to the teenage Crips gangster who fired the fatal bullet.

But the Lanes are ready to endure the "long haul" through the US court system until Chancey Luna, who was 16 when he committed the random drive-by murder, receives the punishment he deserves.

Chris, a 22-year-old from Melbourne who had a scholarship to study and play baseball at Oklahoma's East Central University, was jogging along an Oklahoma residential street in 2013 when Rollin' 90s Crips gang member Luna shot him in the back.

"Obviously we are disappointed, but we always said that part of the situation will have to handle itself and we'll have to deal with what we have to deal with," Chris' father, Peter Lane, told AAP on Friday.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with Luna's first-degree murder conviction.

However, the appeals court rejected the life imprisonment without the possibility of parole sentence handed down by a jury and confirmed by a judge at last year's trial.

The appeals court found the "juvenile's chronological age and its hallmark features - among them immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences" were not considered by the jury when deciding Luna's fate.

The new sentencing will likely be held before a jury in the same Stephens County District Court in Duncan where the trial took place.

"While we are disappointed in the decision, we will abide by it and move forward," District Attorney Jason Hicks said.

"We are confident in our evidence and look forward to once again presenting it to a jury."

Luna did not testify at the trial.

At last year's sentencing Mr Hicks told the court Luna had admitted being a member of the Rollin' 90s Crips gang.

At the proceedings Luna had "Crip for Life" written in black pen on the back pocket of his orange jail jumpsuit.

The court heard how as Chris jogged along a residential street in Duncan a Ford Focus carrying Luna and two other local teenagers, James Edwards, 15, and Michael Jones, 17, approached from behind.

Luna was in the backseat, pointed a .22 calibre revolver out a window, shot Lane in the back and the car sped away, leaving the Australian to die in a ditch on the side of the road.

Edwards, who became a prosecution witness, was sentenced to 25 years' jail, with 10 years of the sentence suspended.

Jones, who drove the car, was sentenced to life but could be eligible for release after 38 years.

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