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Lewis' murder trial set for May 15

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Posted: Wednesday February 23, 2000 08:32 PM

  Ray Lewis doesn't anticipate returning to Atlanta until May 15. AP

ATLANTA (AP) -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and two co-defendants accused of killing two men outside an Atlanta nightclub will go on trial May 15, defense attorney Ed Garland announced Wednesday.

The trial date was among the items prosecutors and attorneys for the three defendants discussed in the judge's chambers Wednesday, Garland said.

Both prosecution and defense attorneys declined to elaborate on the proceedings, citing a gag order imposed by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner.

"We'll be ready to go," assistant district attorney Clint Rucker said outside Bonner's office.

Lewis, 24, and Joseph Sweeting, 34, of Miami, and Reginald Oakley, 31, of Baltimore, were indicted on murder charges Feb. 11.

They are accused of fatally stabbing Richard Lollar, 24, and Jacinth Baker, 21, during a brawl that erupted amid Super Bowl celebrations.

Garland said prosecutors have not indicated whether they plan to seek the death penalty, in which case the defendants would be tried separately.

Lewis' lawyers maintain he tried to stop the fight and that he was at least 60 feet away when Lollar and Baker, both of nearby Decatur, were stabbed. Police say Lewis drove away in a limousine and later lied when they tried to determine who was in his entourage.

Lewis posted $1 million bond and returned to his suburban Baltimore home last week, where he publicly proclaimed his innocence. His co-defendants await a bond hearing.

Last week team officials said Lewis' legal troubles have not affected his status with the Ravens and said they would not address the matter again.

Garland, who requested a speedy trial, said Wednesday he anticipates waiving an arraignment hearing set for March 10. He also said he doesn't expect Lewis to return to Atlanta until the May 15 trial.

"We're happy with the trial date and the processes that are under way," he said.

Related information
Baltimore LB charged with murder for Atlanta stabbings
Ravens' Lewis maintains his innocence in jail interview
Lewis walks out of jail after posting $1 million bond
Lewis expresses sympathy for victims' families
Lewis judge known for no-nonsense approach
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