Work in Sports
Ravens owner Modell testifies for Lewis
Posted: Monday February 14, 2000 08:00 PM
Later in the day, Superior Court Judge Doris Downs granted Ray Lewis a $1 million bond Monday, saying that the Baltimore Ravens linebacker could stay at his home in Maryland while awaiting trial on murder charges.
Lewis and two other men are charged with murder. The 24-year-old player has been held without bail since his arrest the day of the slayings.
One of his two codefendants surrendered today. The other remained at large.
Modell, testifying on behalf of Lewis, said the linebacker is active in community affairs in Baltimore and recalled his reply when asked his plans about bonus money.
"He told me he wanted to buy his mother a house," Modell said. "I was taken with that."
Modell was one of several character witnesses called by Lewis' lawyers as the bond hearing began.
Atlanta police said Joseph Sweeting of Miami surrendered to authorities. Another suspect, Reginald "A.J." Oakley of Baltimore, is still being sought.
They were indicted with Lewis on Friday in the deaths of Richard Lollar, 24, and Jacinth Baker, 21. The two were stabbed during the fight outside an Atlanta nightclub Jan. 31.
In a jailhouse interview with WNUV-TV of Baltimore during the weekend, Lewis asked that he not be judged by the families of the two victims until the facts are clear. He said he hoped to relay that message during today's hearing.
Lewis would not discuss the specifics of the case, but professed his innocence. He also said he knew, as his limousine sped from the scene of the double murder, that he would be the central figure in the case because he is an NFL player.
Lewis said he also feels God is placing obstacles in his way for a reason.
The interview was not taped, but the reporter related Lewis' comments.
Lewis' lawyers say he tried to break up the fight. They said he was at least 60 feet away when Lollar and Baker, both of Decatur, Ga., were stabbed and did not see the crime.
Authorities said Lewis drove away in a limousine and later was uncooperative with investigators, providing misleading statements.
Lollar's grandmother, Joyce, said she has asked the court that Lewis not be let out of jail.
"Whoever killed my grandson should not have any freedom," she said.