5 Common Misconceptions About Ray Lewis’ Murder Trial

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 5 years ago '09        #41
ill 800 64 heat pts64
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The Friday before this year’s Super Bowl will mark the 13th anniversary of the death of Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker, the two victims of murders committed in the presence of NFL all-star defensive player Ray Lewis. This is Lewis' final season in professional football (his team, the Baltimore Ravens, plays in a playoff game on Sunday). As one of the most recognizable defensive fixtures in NFL history rides into the sunset, there will be a lot of retrospective talk about this notorious blemish on his otherwise gleaming career.

If the court of public opinion seems split on how to interpret Ray Lewis, take that as the first sign that something is not quite right with this story. We accept with distressing ease the notion that a football player could buy his way out of a murder conviction. Much of the confusion surrounding Lewis’s freedom stems from ignorance about his case.

On the night of January 31, 2000, Ray Lewis left an Atlanta nightclub with a group of people. In that group were Joseph Sweeting, 24, and Reginald Oakley, 31. While the group walked over to the limousine that Lewis had rented for the night, those two men became involved in an altercation with another group that had been in the nightclub and had just left; among them were Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker. Lewis stated in court that he did not want to participate in the f!ght, and pulled his guys to the car. The situation’s temporary truce was then broken, according to his testimony, when the other group passed the limo on the sidewalk and re-ignited the confrontation.

Oakley jumped out of Lewis’s car, and was promptly hit in the head with a champagne bottle. "All hell broke loose at that point,” said Lewis. From his vantage in the car, he could look out and see "a frantic f!ght. They was really going at it." But according to him and another witness, Lewis himself was not a participant in the f!ght. One witness from the opposing group said he saw Lewis throw a punch, but later recanted that. The Lewis group corralled into his limo and it pealed away.

Later that day, Atlanta police came and questioned Lewis about the two deaths. He had already told the people in his car to “just keep your mouth shut and don't say nothing.” Sure enough, he lied to the cops. That very day, he was arrested on first degree murder charges, later released on $1 million bail.

Four months later, the murder trial was already two weeks old. It was being prosecuted by Fulton County, GA District Attorney Paul Howard with comic ineptitude, including two Brady violations handed down by the judge. Yet, Ray Lewis made the move to turn witness against his two friends in exchange for the obstruction of justice plea. In effect, he decided to accept a misdemeanor for lying to the cops that he wasn’t there — the crime he did commit — and be let off the hook for two murders he didn’t. According to some, the prosecution’s case was so shoddy to that point that had Lewis not offered testimony (which was as valuable to his friends’ defense as it was to the prosecution because his version of the story corroborated their claims of self-defense) the case may have been thrown out by the judge.

Eventually, both Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of all charges, though Sweeting did later release a rap song saying that he should have stabbed Ray Lewis, too. (I wish I had a link for that.) To this day, no one has been convicted for the murders of Lollar and Baker.

There are other twists that complicate the story I’ve portrayed, such as the missing suit that Lewis was wearing that night (never found) and the settlement that he reached with the victims’ families years later. But I can safely say that based on what I’ve read, I do not think Ray Lewis k!lled or even indirectly caused the death of anyone.

The ignorant narrative that I used to believe, that Ray Lewis k!lled two guys and got his friends to take the fall for it, is certainly incorrect. First of all, there was no fall. Both men were acquitted when the careering D.A., reminiscent of the Duke lacrosse prosecutor, failed to secure a single murder conviction on two deaths. Second, even when Lewis turned state’s witness, his testimony “helped portray the victims as aggressors,” in the words of the other two’s lawyer, thus helping them. Most importantly, for Ray Lewis to have k!lled either of the men would have required such a vastly different sequence of events than those reported by both the victims’ group and his own that they would all have to be on the take. It’s a very silly thought to construct a scenario where that is possible, and it’s a sillier thought to regard a football player as that far above the law.

Lewis’s vicious on-field persona and his silence on the issue since then have contributed to the a.ssumption that he is guilty. He did lie to the police about being there, but that is quite different from being responsible for two deaths. Unfortunately, that distinction is often ignored by idiotic columnists looking to trash something. In light of what I now know, it’s a wonder that articles like this are allowed past an editor.

NPR takes a good look at the role of the case in his legacy here. Ultimately, it should be allowed to fade in the past. Ray Lewis is a great football player, and we should no longer look at that as a mere counterweight to something for which he was not responsible
............
 5 years ago '06        #42
Trap$tar 8 heat pts
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 44Caliber said:

All I know is what came out in court. And he was never found guilty of anything besides obstruction.

You are making a huge a.ssumption about a man that was never found guilty of murder. What leads you to believe he committed murder? The fact he got rid of his suit? How would that convict him of murder?
If there was blood of the victims on his suit it would have been a really bad look for Ray. Would have at least proved that he was in the f!ght and not watching from a vantage point like he claimed.

Me, personally, I do believe he was in the f!ght but I don't think he k!lled anyone.
 5 years ago '07        #43
Jeet Kune Do 12 heat pts12
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ppl still mad?


Not a lot of ppl cared about this sh*t when the ravens were losing the conference games....white ppl mad
 5 years ago '06        #44
Mike in Tampa 20 heat pts20
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What happened to his suit.
 5 years ago '07        #45
Ghost Terp 18 heat pts18
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 HeruDat said:
so Im the only one who heard that the murder involved Ray Lewis being gay or like some undercover gay type relationship between him and someone or him and the victims?
The n*gga has 4 baby mommas
 5 years ago '04        #46
pandemon 8 heat pts
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anyone not a ravens fan lost
 5 years ago '06        #47
vinceisallin 11 heat pts11
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 ill 800 said:
whats the shirt supposed to prove?
The suit could of hurt him if DNA of the died was found on it, his story wouldn't of worked, and he would prolly be in jail for murder with his two buddies
 5 years ago '09        #48
That Guy Fly 21 heat pts21
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He got rid of the suit but the fur coat still sits in his closet.

He got off and doesn't have anything else to worry about so why harp on it. The system lost.
 5 years ago '07        #49
timdog 926 heat pts926
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did his friend who he gave the suit to get called to the trial
 5 years ago '10        #50
peeyump 15 heat pts15
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sh*t is in the past.....regardless of what went down he has been a free man and has been serving ever since........the guy has touched more lives then ya favorite pastor.
 01-25-2013, 08:31 PM         #51
JohnDoe B1 
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 Fly 2ndComing said:
Come on man, you Ravens fans need to stop this sh*t. He was very much involved. But, his case is over so he as well as everybody else can move on now.

[pic - click to view]

 5 years ago '11        #52
Gatorfan2611 8 heat pts
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 Ghost Terp said:
This wasn't happening every 5 seconds last year


[pic - click to view]

why is this not a smiley

:rayohno:
 5 years ago '11        #53
GrindPOWER$ 391 heat pts391
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him and his boys got in a argument which turn into a big brawl one of ray boys pulled a knife and gain the upper hand on them boys knifed them up to the point of death and got out of there tell his other peoples ditch the suit and the other evidence and got lawyers and the prosecutor to work together to get him and his boys off along with some larger paper in the mix.
 5 years ago '09        #54
ill 800 64 heat pts64
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 whodatb1 said:
Go peep the article on grantland.... DETAILED FACTS


this was a really good source
 5 years ago '04        #55
lilflip01 1 heat pts
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 Michael 1987 said:
fu*king sellout. Great player but still a fu*king sellout.


And sill no mention of that suit.
Tell me why u mad doe
 01-26-2013, 10:46 AM         #56
Flacco Da Gawd 
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Jan. 31, 2000 — Keven Brown, a security guard from Decatur, Georgia, later tells authorities that before he helped break up the f!ght, he saw a “very intoxicated” Lewis exiting the club. Lewis, in his subsequent testimony, says he tried to stop the f!ght. Other witnesses will say they saw Lewis throw a punch, though none saw him wielding a knife. (Georgia law dictates that “any party who did not directly commit the crime may be convicted for the commission of the crime upon proof that the crime was committed and that he was a party thereto, despite the outcome of the one who directly committed the crime.”) Only one witness — an admitted con man who is later imprisoned — will say he saw Lewis actively involved in the f!ght.


But... But.. Witnesses said

2003 — Gladys Robinson, Baker’s grandmother, sues Lewis for $10 million. She and Lewis reach an undisclosed settlement.

2004 — The family of Kellye Smith, Richard Lollar's then-fiancé who was pregnant at the time, sues Lewis (on behalf of her and Lollar’s daughter) for $13 million. They also reach a settlement, which includes a confidentiality clause.


But.. But.. Hush money
 01-26-2013, 11:16 AM         #57
Flacco Da Gawd 
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 Yinz N Burgh said:


Security guard changing his tune... They settled out of court. What do you think hush money is? Donte Stalleworth did that same sh*t and he's got a body too and still playing in the league. Families decided money >>>> justice.
Or maybe.. Ray has a sh*tload of money and felt bad for the families and figured that if they want to sue, instead of going through all that bullsh*t, he could just pay them. That's just me being logical though

So basically.. Ray may have punched someone that's literally all witnesses have said.
 5 years ago '08        #58
Chief Dee 6 heat pts
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 Michael Wilson said:
What happened to his suit.
Not even the suit knows what happened to the suit.
 01-26-2013, 11:29 AM         #59
Flacco Da Gawd 
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 Yinz N Burgh said:
So a innocent/passionate Ray Lewis wouldn't f!ght for his name? He was only in the league for 4 years so around 10-20 million dollars wasn't pocket change for him to just throw around for feeling bad. Second, he will cry after a playoff football game but would not f!ght for his name and innocence for the rest of his life?

That's just being logical
He was sued in 2003 and 2004. He had money by then.
 5 years ago '09        #60
ill 800 64 heat pts64
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 Yinz N Burgh said:


Security guard changing his tune... They settled out of court. What do you think hush money is? Donte Stalleworth did that same sh*t and he's got a body too and still playing in the league. Families decided money >>>> justice.
because it wouldve cost him just as much to go to court. do you even know what a civil suit is?


idiot yinzer
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