Ray Lewis Timeline

  • Super bowl night

    Super bowl night
    The St. Louis Rams defeat the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
  • The night of the brawl

    The night of the brawl
    Hundreds of people head to the Cobalt Lounge in Buckhead for a Super Bowl after-party. An argument between Ray Lewis’s group and another group heats up outside around 4 a.m. According to witnesses, following a verbal kerfuffle, a man in Lewis’s group is struck in the head with a champagne bottle. The argument turns
    physical from there, and punches are thrown. Brown tells authorities that he saw two men tussling with Jacinth Baker, 21, and two others brawling with Richard Lollar, 24,
  • Questioning

    — Investigators speak with Lewis, who supplies misleading information. Lewis is arrested and held in police custody without bail, where he knowingly makes an untrue statement to Lieutenant Michael Smith.
  • Period: to

    Ray Lewis Wild night

  • Fulton County grand jury

    Ray Lewis and his two acquaintances are indicted by a Fulton County grand jury on two counts each of malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Warrants have been issued for Reginald Oakley, 31, of Baltimore, and Joseph Sweeting, 34, of Miami. Sweeting is charged with Lollar’s death and Oakley with Baker’s.
  • Heat turning up

    Heat turning up
    Joseph Sweeting turns himself in.
  • Bond

    A judge grants Lewis a $1 million bond.
  • More Pressure

    An hour and a half before Lewis is released, Reginald Oakley turns himself in.
  • Trial Date confirmed

    Feb. 23, 2000 The trial date for Lewis, Sweeting, and Oakley is set for May 15.
  • Jury Selection

    Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner begins jury selection on Lewis’s 25th birthday.
  • Jury News

    A jury of nine black women, one black man, one white woman, and one white man is chosen.
  • Trial Begins

    The trial begins. The prosecution calls multiple witnesses — one who witnessed the killing from her apartment window but was unable to identify any of the defendants, another who said he had the receipt to what he believed was one of the knives used that night, and two sporting-goods store workers who say they sold a knife to someone who looked like Sweeting. The defense does not call any witnesses.
  • Day 2

    Day 2 of the trial begins with Jeff Gwen, a rap performer from Akron, Ohio, testifying to witnessing Oakley and an unidentified man holding knives during the fight. He says he did not see Lewis with a weapon. Another witness also testifies that he saw an unidentified man wielding a knife. According to Gwen, as he and friend Chris Shinholster were leaving, their conversation about women at the club was interrupted by Oakley, who was quickly pulled back by Lewis and an unidentified man. Gwen said
  • Day 3 of the trial

    Day 3 of the trial is highlighted by spotty testimony from the prosecution’s star witness. His story includes inconsistencies, lapses in memory, and admission of hearing loss. Duane Fassett, the driver of Lewis’s rented limo, previously told investigators he saw Lewis, Sweeting, and Oakley fighting with the two victims, and overheard Sweeting and Oakley saying they’d stabbed the two men. He claimed he also heard Lewis tell them to lie to the police. In his testimony, Fassett says he saw Lewis ra
  • Day 4 of trial

    On Day 4 of the trial, Chester Anderson, a con artist in jail on identification fraud charges, testifies that he saw Lewis kicking a man in a street brawl while he was walking from another bar early January 31. Another witness says she saw blood in the limo following the fight and that she heard Lewis say, “I’m not trying to end my career like this.” She says she did not see knives, punches, or kicks, though on the ride home, a passenger got out of the car with a brown paper bag and walked towar
  • Day 5 of trial

    On Day 5, no witnesses for the prosecution identify Lewis in the brawl. The first witness of the day, a model who was with Lewis’s group at the party, says she was unable to identify anyone in the fight because she was “pretty intoxicated.” She was given full immunity in exchange for her testimony. Another witness, a friend of the victims, does not mention any of the defendants, only saying that he saw a “commotion” and saw Baker lying on the ground. He then ran toward his friend Marlin Burros’
  • Day 6 of trial

    Day 6 begins with testimony from Shirley McMillan-Horton, a crime scene technician for the Atlanta Police Department. She collected swabs from several of the blood stains in the limo Lewis and the co-defendants were riding in after the brawl, though she did not identify whose blood it was. The jury also listens to testimony about Lewis’s trip to Atlanta.
  • Day 7 of the trial

    Day 7: Police officers testify that Lewis’s original police statement on Jan. 31 was riddled with lies. Lewis at first denied knowing the names of the people in his limo. He then later identified some of the people in the car, including Oakley (who he called “A.J. Johnson,” an alias). He also originally denied knowing somebody’s head had been cut but later said Oakley “had his head busted.” Lewis refused to sign the statement, saying he had to leave for the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and would answer qu
  • Day 8 of trial

    Day 8: Detective Ken Allen, who was at the scene of the crime, describes what he found next to Baker’s and Lollar’s bodies — bottles, articles of clothing, and a two-inch knife with no blood on it.
  • Plea Bargain

    Lewis agrees to a plea bargain — his murder and aggravated assault charges are dropped in exchange for his testimony against Sweeting and Oakley. As part of the deal, he also pleads guilty to obstruction of justice (for telling people in his limo to keep quiet) and receives a year of probation.
  • Lewis Takes Stand

    Lewis takes the stand and testifies against Oakley and Sweeting. A full transcript of that day’s court proceedings can be found
  • Facing life

    Facing a life sentence, Joseph Sweeting and Reginald Oakley are acquitted of murder and assault charges after the jury deliberated for less than five hours.
  • The End

    NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue fines Lewis $250,000 for obstructing the police investigation. That amount is believed to be the largest fine for an NFL player in cases not involving substance abuse. Tagliabue adds that Lewis will be fined another $250,000 and subject to suspension if he violates his probation.