Work in Sports
'Get up, man'
Witnesses offer graphic testimony of brawl on street
Posted: Thursday May 25, 2000 07:39 AM
By Nick Charles, CNNSI.com
ATLANTA -- The second day of the trial produced at least three significant points of testimony from two eyewitnesses involved in the brawl that led to the double murders.
The first places a knife in the hands of co-defendant Reginald Oakley. Secondly, it was established that Ray Lewis was seen in what one witness said was a physical "tussle" with one of the victims, Richard Lollar. And third that it was Oakley who initiated the confrontation between the groups.
With a pointer in his hand, witness Chris Shinholster stood in the middle of the courtroom before a long, horizontal diagram of the crime scene answering questions from assistant district attorney Clint Rucker.
Shinholster told Rucker that Oakley's friends were escorting Oakley away from the area, back to their vehicle. Shinholster says he was walking behind them when suddenly Oakley turned back around and confronted the other group.
"'F--k that. I want to know who you're calling a hole-ass nigger,'" Shinholster said, quoting Oakley.
"Who said that?" asked Rucker.
"Oakley," answered Shinholster.
A second witness who testified that he saw Lewis get involved in the confrontation was Jeff Gwen.
"I turned around and I see [victim] Jacinth [Baker] have words with Ray Lewis," Gwen said. "And I don't know what Jason said, but I heard Ray Lewis say, 'What's up then nigger?' and took his chain off, put it in the car and then get out of the car.
"As he was getting out of the car, Reginald Oakley gets out of the car and runs in front of him. So him and, he and Jacinth are face to face."
Rucker then walked over to Gwen, who was standing in front of the diagram. "I would be Jacinth Baker," said Rucker. He then turned toward Gwen and said, "I want you to pretend to be Reginald Oakley and demonstrate what you saw. What do I need to do?"
Gwen put a hand on Rucker's left shoulder to demonstrate and responded, "Nothing really because he [Baker] was not fighting back or nothing."
Gwen then proceeded to grab Rucker by the back of his coat collar. "And I just seen that he had him like this," as he pulled Rucker downward, closer to him. "And he was just like this," Gwen said as he struck Rucker three times in the side with his hand in an upward motion as if he was using a knife.
"I see Richard laying on his back," recalls Gwen. "He was like, blinking. So I kneel down and I'm like, 'Man, get up man. We gotta go.' So he's on the ground and he's blinking and he's breathing heavy. So I tap him on the cheek, like, 'C'mon man get up.' [I'm] trying to get his attention. And I'm grabbing him and I'm, 'C'mon man get up.' And then he let out this breath and then his eyes rolled up in his head."
Defense attorneys were diligent in getting both key prosecution witnesses to admit they never saw Ray Lewis with a knife.
The trial heads into its third day of testimony Thursday morning. The prosecution is expected to rest its case by the end of the week.