Lewis' limo driver receives immunity

Back in Md., investigators interview Fassett, inspect car driven from crime scene

April 08, 2000|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

Georgia investigators this week returned to Maryland, where they granted immunity to the driver of the limousine that took Ray Lewis and his companions from the scene of a double murder in Atlanta.

Duane Fassett of Severn received a written immunity agreement on Monday guaranteeing that he would not face charges in the case, his attorney, David Irwin of Baltimore, said yesterday. Fassett spent several hours retelling his story to representatives of the Atlanta Police Department and the Fulton County District Attorneys' office, Irwin said.

Fassett drove Lewis to Atlanta for the Super Bowl in a 37-foot limousine that Lewis rented from All Stretched Out Limousine Service of Glen Burnie.

The investigators also visited the limo company to inspect the car again, Irwin said.

Early on the morning of Jan. 31, members of Lewis' party allegedly became involved in a fight in Atlanta's nightclub district in which two men were stabbed to death. Lewis and two friends, Joseph Sweeting, 34, of Miami, and Reginald Oakley, 31, of Baltimore, face trial May 15 on assault and murder charges in the case.

Fassett is a key witness. He has told police he saw Lewis involved in the fight, although he didn't see him stab anyone, according to a transcript of a statement he made earlier to police. Under Georgia law, Lewis could be convicted of murder if prosecutors can prove that he was aware someone was going to be killed or that he was involved in an unrelated crime during the incident.

Irwin said he asked for assurances from the investigators that his client would not be prosecuted for any involvement in the case. Police had not threatened to charge him, Irwin said.

"Out of an abundance of caution I asked the prosecutors for an immunity letter," Irwin said.

He declined to discuss the specifics of Fassett's latest statement to police, but said it was consistent with his past testimony. "They are just preparing for the case," Irwin said.

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