Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore Ravens’

Ray Lewis murder trial articles: Interviews with mother of victim, co-defendant, and lawyer

February 3, 2013

ImageBy Mike Frandsen

I wrote two articles recently on the Ray Lewis murder trial and incident that left two people dead. I felt the story had mostly been forgotten and ignored over the last decade, although leading up to the Super Bowl there has been a lot of coverage of the story.

These types of stories are often deemed too controversial for the TV, radio, print and online media outlets that promote the NFL.

See Part 1 (http://www.examiner.com/article/ray-lewis-legacy-questions-remain-from-murder-trial-for-baltimore-ravens-star) and Part 2 (http://www.examiner.com/article/ray-lewis-former-co-defendant-speaks-on-argument-that-led-to-2-murders-2000) of the articles on Examiner.com.

Here are some highlights from the first article, Ray Lewis’ legacy: Questions remain from murder trial for Baltimore Ravens’ star.  In exclusive interviews,

  • Priscilla Lollar, the mother of slain victim Richard Lollar, says Lewis is responsible for the death of her son.
  • Reginald Oakley, one of Lewis’ co-defendants in the murder trial, says Lewis had a role in starting the argument that led to the killings.
  • Ed Garland, the lawyer who defended Lewis, says Lewis did nothing wrong after initially misleading authorities the morning after the killings.

In the second article, Ray Lewis’ former co-defendant speaks on argument that led to 2 murders in 2000, differing versions are described from court testimony, an exclusive interview with Oakley, and statements to police about:

  • The argument that led to the fight.
  • The brawl that resulted in two fatal stabbings.
  • The aftermath of the incident, including little known information about the knife found at the scene of the crime.
  • Testimony that most people don’t remember, about blood found on the pillows in Lewis’ hotel room the day after the murders.

Let’s hope for a great Super Bowl today between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. But when you hear the broadcasters and players gush about Lewis, who undoubtedly is one of the greatest players of all time and has lived a spotless life off the field in the last dozen years, don’t forget the victims and the tragedy that occurred in Atlanta 13 years ago.

To read my articles on Examiner.com, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Ray Lewis murder trial in news as Ravens and 49ers prepare for Super Bowl

January 26, 2013

When Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis walks off the field after Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans Nov. 3, he will leave a legacy as one of the greatest players of all time.

Off the field, however, questions remain about the 13-time Pro Bowl selection, Super Bowl XXXV MVP, and future Hall of Famer despite numerous charitable works and a reputation for being an inspiration to his team.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 31, 2000 after Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta, two men, Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker, died of stab wounds after a fight with members of Lewis’ entourage outside a nightclub. Lewis and two friends, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were charged with murder.

Lewis later agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for the prosecution dropping murder charges against him. As part of the deal, Lewis testified against Oakley and Sweeting, who were subsequently acquitted of murder charges.

I did an article on Lewis’ dual legacy of being a great player and having the stain of the murder trial. I interviewed Priscilla Lollar, the mother of slain victim Richard Lollar; Oakley, and the lawyer who represented Lewis in the case, Ed Garland. Lollar holds Lewis responsible for the death of her son. Oakley said Lewis started the incident with a verbal argument, and Garland said Lewis was truthful once he made the plea bargain (after he misled authorities).

It seems to me that Lewis has gotten tons of praise and virtually no criticism in the past decade or more. It’s only now that the Ravens are in the Super Bowl that people are bringing up the trial again, which had been largely forgotten, just like the victims in the case. Lewis has carefully cultivated a persona of being a spiritual, inspirational leader, and it doesn’t hurt that he is emotional, passionate, and expressive, which is always good for TV.

Please see my article at http://www.examiner.com/article/ray-lewis-legacy-questions-remain-from-murder-trial-for-baltimore-ravens-star.

Trent Dilfer

December 15, 2008

It seems like this blog is turning into cases in which I believe that the majority of so-called experts and fans are wrong about certain players or teams.  On the subject of quarterbacks, I think Trent Dilfer was a good, solid quarterback who never got enough credit.  He had a winning record overall (58-53).  He never played for a great team except the 2000 Ravens, and even then the team didn’t have great wide receivers.   

 

People always said the 2000 Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl despite Dilfer and because of their defense.  Unfortunately, this is a label that stuck – that Dilfer just managed the game and that anyone could have won that Super Bowl.  If the Ravens defense was so great, why couldn’t they get to another Super Bowl after they let Dilfer go, especially since every year the media says they have a great defense?  And the Ravens were 5-3 the first half of that season without Dilfer, including the last four of those games without scoring an offensive touchdown, and 10-1 including playoffs with Dilfer. 

 

Check out what the Washington Post’s Les Carpenter wrote on November 13: 

 

“Through all the winning seasons, through the playoff runs and the Super Bowl season, in which Baltimore’s defense thrived, the team perpetually lacked the one essential piece that kept it from being a dynasty.

 

It never had the right quarterback.

 

Suddenly, as the old stars start to fade away and the team builds again with a new coach, that quarterback has arrived.”

 

I love the way Carpenter puts the middle sentence on its own for emphasis.  Great.  So Joe Flacco, at 9-5, is already better than Dilfer, who went 10-1 and won a Super Bowl?  Let’s not anoint him just yet.  Sorry that 10-1 and a Super Bowl win wasn’t good enough for you.  You prefer 10-6 (the Ravens’ likely record this year) and a probable first or second round playoff exit.  I admit, what Flacco has done so far is impressive, but don’t put him ahead of Dilfer yet. 

 

As far as I’m concerned, I hope that the Ravens never win another Super Bowl.  You don’t cut your Super Bowl winning QB in favor of someone (Elvis Grbac) with better stats but less heart and lower leadership skills.  Too often, people go for style over substance.  (Thank God the Ravens finally got rid of the incredibly pompous and pretentious Brian Billick after the 2007 season).  Former Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe said it was a big mistake to let Dilfer go.  I’ve never understood the anti-Dilfer sentiment.  He started out his career in Tampa Bay and admittedly didn’t play great, but at least he got them to the playoffs – something that neither Steve Young nor Vinnie Testaverde could do in Tampa Bay.   

 

All I know is that none of the Ravens QBs since Dilfer have fared as well, and now they’re starting over with another first round pick.  Dilfer went from Seattle to Cleveland to San Francisco, and in each case got passed over in favor of a younger QB who wasn’t as good at the time but seemingly had more potential (Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Frye, and Alex Smith).  Only Hasselbeck turned out to be good, and I’m not so sure Dilfer couldn’t have done the same thing if given the chance in that west coast offense.


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