It was about time someone asked the question on the minds of so many people since charges were filed Tuesday against the three Oklahoma teens for the senseless murder of college baseball star Chris Lane.
Why was the driver of the car, who happened to be the only white kid, Michael Jones, 17, not charged with first-degree murder like the other two teens, but instead charged with the lesser of crime of using a vehicle in commission of a crime with a firearm and as an accessory after the fact?
A legal panel joined Greta Van Susteren Friday night to discuss that question, which quite frankly, has the potential to heighten the racial tensions already surrounding this horrific case.
In the outstanding segment, the entire panel was in absolute agreement that Jones should have been charged exactly the same as his black friends James Edwards, 15, the passenger in the car, and Chancey Luna, 16, who allegedly fired the shot from the back seat that killed Lane.
However, it was reported that Jones was the only suspect who cooperated with police and gave a statement last Sunday.
In fact, it was Jones who allegedly told police the teens were “bored” and simply wanted to go out and kill someone.
Which, as the panel noted, is exactly why one can’t make the argument that Jones had no idea what was happening as he drove the car through the town of Duncan, therefore warranting an “accessory after the fact” charge.
But, in law enforcement, it is not uncommon to give a “deal” to the first one who “talks” or “confesses” to police, and that is probably the only explanation as to why Jones was charged with the lesser offense.
Van Susteren offered her own theory – one she called “laughable” – by suggesting that Jones could have gotten the accessory charge if he claimed he tried to stop his friends from committing the murder.
But she agreed with her guest, former prosecutor Jim Hammer, who said if that is what Jones claimed, then prosecutors still should have charged him with first-degree murder and told him to prove that claim in court.
Do you agree with the panel? Take our poll:
Watch the excellent discussion via Fox News here: