As Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis prepares to play in Super Bowl XLVII Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, questions continue to arise about his legacy and his connection to a double murder that took place 13 years ago in Atlanta.
One of Lewis’ co-defendants in the double murder trial, Reginald Oakley, said in an interview with Examiner.com Thursday that Lewis didn’t testify about everything he knew about the fatal fight, and tried to shift suspicion onto Oakley after the killings. Still, Oakley says his only problem with Lewis is that the future Hall of Famer blamed Oakley for instigating the fight.
Excerpts from the article are below:
And by granting Lewis a plea bargain, Howard, who at the beginning of the trial told the court Lewis was a liar, placed himself in the position of having to prove to the jury that Lewis was credible in testifying against Oakley and Sweeting.
For example, after blood was found on pillows in Lewis’ hotel room after the killings, Howard questioned Lewis so he could provide an explanation. Lewis told the court:
“I had an injury from football that my head — usually when I play, my head gets cut open a lot of times. I have a certain type of skin on the of my head, falitivitis (sic) or something like that. I’m not sure what — exactly what it is, but it bleeds. It used to bleed a lot, and now it’s just really getting, you know, controlled now.”
Howard asked if Lewis took medication for that condition and Lewis replied, “Yes.”
Virtually everyone who testified or talked about the case described varying versions of who started the fight, what exactly happened during the melee, and what occurred in its aftermath. It didn’t help that the incident occurred shortly before 4 a.m., when many witnesses and those involved in the incident were at least partly intoxicated.
No one testified that Lewis ever possessed a knife, and Lewis never testified that he saw a knife in the hands of Oakley or Sweeting during the incident.
Oakley’s version of the argument that led to the fight
Oakley told Examiner.com what he said when he walked up to Lewis, who was standing across from Gwen and his friend:
I asked Ray, “Is everything alright?” and he tapped me on the shoulder and was like, “Come on, let’s go” and brings me back to the limousine. Gwen and his friend came up behind me, talking tough and I turned around and was like, “Is there a problem?” and then they started talking about what they were going to do.
I said, “You’re not going to do nothing to me, and we got into a confrontation and Ray came back and grabbed me and put me in the limo and he got back out of the limo because his friends, (Joseph) Sweeting and (Kwame) King were out of the limo talking to the guys, asking what’s going on or whatever.
Then one of the guys walked by and said something to Ray and then I saw some more guys coming up behind Ray, so I got out of the limousine to tell Ray, and that’s when Baker hit me in the head with the Moet bottle. And that’s when everybody started fighting.
Lewis’ version of the fight
After Baker hit Oakley with the bottle, Lewis testified that a brawl ensued:
LEWIS: It was, from that point, it was chaos, whatever, when he hit him in the head, them two just, I mean, went in a dramatic fashion of fighting.
HOWARD: Would you describe what you mean by “fighting?”
LEWIS: Fighting, I mean, you hit me, I hit you back. We just fighting. We just fighting.
Lewis may just happen to be a flawed person who made major mistakes in his past but has learned from them and moved on to live a better life.
That won’t be any consolation to the friends and families of the victims, though.
To read the entire article on Examiner.com, including different accounts of the argument that led to the fight, the brawl, and the aftermath, click here. See http://www.examiner.com/article/ray-lewis-former-co-defendant-speaks-on-argument-that-led-to-2-murders-2000.