Indicted Lewis acquaintance urged to surrender

Fugitive was seen in Md. last week by girlfriend

February 12, 2000|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Fugitive Reginald Oakley, indicted along with Ravens star Ray Lewis in the stabbing deaths of two men after a Super Bowl party, has been urged by a legal adviser to surrender to Atlanta authorities nearly a week after he was last seen in Maryland by his girlfriend.

Jesse Ingram, an attorney who lives in Columbia, said he told Oakley several days ago to return to Atlanta and speak with police, but that he hasn't heard from the 31-year-old suspect since.

"I'm quite concerned," Ingram said yesterday. "He should already be there."

Last week, Oakley's girlfriend said her boyfriend returned from a trip to Atlanta, where he watched the Super Bowl. She saw him for the last time a week ago today.

"He was really busy, talking to people on the phone, to lawyers," said Janeth Baires, Oakley's girlfriend. "He was thinking of going back, to Atlanta, but he didn't tell me what happened. He said everything was going to be OK. He didn't have anything to hide from anybody."

Oakley is wanted on murder charges by police in the stabbing deaths of Richard Lollar, 24, and Jacinth Baker, 21, outside an Atlanta nightclub Jan. 31.

Police also are seeking a Miami man, Joseph Sweeting, 34. Both were indicted, along with Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis, yesterday by a Fulton County, Ga., grand jury on murder charges.

How Lewis came to know Sweeting remains a mystery.

Baires and Ingram provided details yesterday to The Sun that help establish a relationship between Oakley, a convicted felon, and the All-Pro linebacker.

They said Oakley was a good friend of a Baltimore County model, Garfield Yuille. Yuille, a friend of Lewis, introduced the two, said Ingram, chairman of the Bowie State psychology department.

Oakley told Baires that he attended at least one Ravens game three or four months ago with Yuille. At a BayRunners game at the Baltimore Arena on Dec. 16, Yuille and Lewis were seen sitting courtside along with three non-Raven friends of Lewis.

Baires said Oakley didn't discuss what happened after the Super Bowl party and that Ingram would say only that Oakley "described some altercation" and was afraid of being mugged or shot.

"They were concerned about being killed," Ingram said.

Oakley didn't seem nervous last week, Baires said, and she was surprised she hadn't seen him for a week. She has tried reaching him through his brother, Brian.

"He said he called him, paged him, but [Oakley] never called back," Baires said.

Baires, who is staying with family members in Virginia, said she and Oakley have a 6-month-old son, Reginald, and that she learned of the murder charges only when a reporter called yesterday.

"I feel bad about what's going on," she said. "I can't believe this."

Ingram said he came to counsel Oakley through Yuille, whom he has represented in other matters.

Oakley was evicted from his apartment on Park Avenue and was sued for $5,600. He stopped living there in December 1996 but spent time there with others as recently as the week before the Super Bowl. He was served with court papers in another apartment in June, court records show, and left Yuille's address as his forwarding address.

Neighbors described Oakley as a nice guy who helped an elderly resident with his groceries occasionally. One neighbor said Oakley always carried a book bag and wore a cap. He also cared for a white cat.

Oakley was born in Granville County, N. C., At 18, he was convicted of embezzlement. At 19, he was convicted of driving on a revoked license and unauthorized use of a car. At 22, he was convicted of resisting arrest, reckless driving and assaulting a police officer.

He escaped confinement in North Carolina briefly after he was sentenced, officials said, but was captured two months later, and was paroled 10 months later.

Oakley's brother, Brian, who also lives in Maryland, said his sibling could never have committed such a crime.

"He was trying to do things right," Brian Oakley said yesterday. "He's not what they're portraying him to be on the news. He's a good father."

Sun staff writer Brent Jones contributed to this article.

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