Mind Over Sports

DID RAY LEWIS GET AWAY WITH MURDER? AND HAVE HIS TEAMMATES BEEN AFRAID OF HIM SINCE THE ORIGINAL ACCUSATION?

Posted on: January 4, 2013

The following is from a report on the Internet:

Following a Super Bowl party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Ray Lewis and his companions and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, and eleven days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges. The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged that the bloodstained suit was dumped in a garbage bin outside a fast food restaurant.
Lewis’ attorneys negotiated a plea agreement with the Fulton County District Attorney, where the murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting, and his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. Lewis admitted that he gave a misleading statement to police on the morning after the killings. Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months’ probation, the maximum sentence for a first-time offender; and he was fined $250,000 by the NFL, which was believed to be the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse. Under the terms of the sentence, Lewis could not use drugs or alcohol during the duration of the probation.
Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000. No other suspects have ever been arrested for the crime.
On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, preempting a scheduled civil proceeding. Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker’s family.

Did Ray Lewis commit murder and get away with it? No one will ever know for sure but I believe his involvement in the case put fear in the hearts of his teammates. And I also believe that he, like most superstars, has created internal problems on the team. When he gets in the face of teammates and screams at them, he does more harm than good. But all these years they’ve feared speaking up. No one has ever attempted to rein him in with the exception of Mike Singletary, when he was the Raven’s linebacker coach. I believe the Ravens, in the long run, will be much better off without him.

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