1 minute read

Ray Lewis Trial: 2000

Victims Stabbed During Brawl

At the end of January 2000, Lewis traveled from Baltimore to Atlanta, Georgia, in a Lincoln Navigator stretch limousine to participate in various activities associated with Super Bowl 2000, in which the St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans. On the evening of January 30, Lewis and a number of friends engaged in post-game celebrations, which took them in the early hours of the next morning to a nightclub called the Cobalt Lounge in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. There were arguments inside the club between members of Lewis's party and other patrons, and these continued in the parking lot as they were leaving. A brawl began when Reginald Oakley, an old friend of Ray Lewis, was hit on the head with a champagne bottle by Jacinth Baker, a 21-year-old man from Decatur, Georgia. In the fight Baker and Richard Lollar, aged 24, also from Decatur, were stabbed to death. The Fulton County medical examiner was later to give the opinion that they must have been stabbed by someone with a knowledge of anatomy, because the wounds were directly to vital organs, causing them to bleed to death very quickly.

Lewis fled from the scene in his limousine, along with some 11 others, including Reginald Oakley and another old friend, Joseph Sweeting, both of Miami. Witnesses reported that some five shots were fired as the limousine left, but it was unclear whether they were fired from the vehicle, or at it. Police found the limousine a few hours later, parked behind the hotel in which Lewis was staying. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and held without bail. Sweeting and Oakley had disappeared. Within hours Max Richardson, an attorney representing Lewis, issued a statement denying any direct involvement in the deaths and claiming that it was just a case of a well-known public figure being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentRay Lewis Trial: 2000 - Victims Stabbed During Brawl, The Case Against Ray Lewis, Prosecution's Murder Case Collapses