Q: What happened in the murder case involving Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens linebacker who announced his retirement last week? Wasn’t he convicted of killing one or two people during Super Bowl week in Atlanta many years ago? —Eddie Webster, Dallas
A: Lewis, a star linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, avoided murder charges and jail time in connection with the January 2000 deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and testifying against two co-defendants. Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 12 months of probation in June 2000, according to published reports. He also had aggravated assault charges dropped in return for testifying against Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting in the deaths of Baker and Lollar. Oakley and Sweeting were later acquitted of the stabbing deaths of Baker and Lollar, who were killed outside a Buckhead nightclub called the Cobalt Lounge hours after Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome on Jan. 30, 2000. The NFL fined Lewis $250,000 for conduct detrimental to the league in August 2000. Lewis reached a financial settlement with Lollar’s family in 2004. Lewis, who said last week that he would retire at the end of this season, is considered one of the best linebackers to play in the NFL. He was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and 2003 and MVP of Super Bowl XXXV. This is his 17th NFL season.
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Former Gov. Roy Barnes on Thursday said state Rep. Tyrone Brooks will mount a vigorous challenge of a 30-count federal indictment that accuses him of stealing nearly $1 million over 20 years from a pair of charities.