Lewis case witness stymied on immunity

Prosecution declines deal with `Carlos'

March 13, 2000|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

A man who was with Ray Lewis when two men were stabbed to death in Atlanta on Jan. 31 has been unable to reach an immunity agreement with prosecutors, but is still hoping a deal can be worked out today under which he would tell investigators what he saw.

The man was with Lewis' group in the early morning hours as they left a Super Bowl celebration at a nightclub and walked toward their rented, 37-foot limousine when a fight broke out, his attorney, Dwight Thomas of Atlanta, said in a telephone interview last night.

Thomas declined to identify the man other than by his first name, Carlos, and to say he is a law student from Texas. He said the man was not a party to any alleged crime on the morning of the murders.

"Carlos was present and did witness significant events, including what appeared to be aggressive behavior by the alleged victims and those who appeared to be with them," Thomas said.

Lewis, a Pro Bowl linebacker for the Ravens, is charged with assault and murder in the deaths of Jacinth Baker, 21, and Richard Lollar, 24, both of Decatur, Ga. Two companions of Lewis that night, Reginald Oakley, 31, of Baltimore, and Joseph Sweeting, 34, of Miami, are facing the same charges.

Carlos is a friend of Jessica Robertson of Houston, who was also in the limo and submitted to police questioning nine days ago under an immunity agreement that shields her from prosecution on any charges that might arise from the case.

Thomas said the prosecutor and police have assured Carlos he is not a target of the investigation, but have not been willing to give him immunity.

Carlos flew to Atlanta last weekend and will remain there until tomorrow, unless he can reach a deal with prosecutors, Thomas said.

"Carlos has decided, after consultation with his attorney, that the proper and legal thing is for the prosecutors and police to give him written assurances that any statements made to authorities will not be taken out of context nor willfully misrepresented nor viewed in any way to place him in an uncomfortable position," Thomas said in a written statement released last night.

Thomas said investigators have pressured his client to talk to them without an immunity deal, and even went to his home to speak with Carlos' mother "under questionable circumstances and questionable representations."

Robertson told investigators the two victims appeared to be plotting a robbery of Lewis' friends when the fight broke out. She turned over to police last Monday bags of clothing Lewis had with him.

Attorneys for one of Lewis' co-defendants have hinted they will mount a self-defense claim. Lewis' legal team said he was trying to break the fight up and didn't participate in the beatings or stabbings of the men.

Police, however, have said Lewis was an active participant in the alleged crimes.

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