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Ray Lewis Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor; Murder Charges DroppedAired June 5, 2000 - 9:24 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to take you live right now to the courtroom here in Atlanta, Georgia. That is where Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is entering his plea. It is a plea agreement in the murder trial. He is pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, which is a misdemeanor.
Let's listen in.
You would have a right to have the assistance of counsel at trial; do you understand that?
RAY LEWIS: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And should you be found guilty of this charge, you would have the right to appeal that conviction?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, are you under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at this time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any medications that might influence your ability to understand the nature of this proceeding?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has anyone threatened you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has anyone coerced you or force you to enter into this plea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Lewis, is this plea being entered into freely by you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is of your own free will?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this plea begin entered into voluntarily?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After consulting with your lawyers regarding the facts and circumstances of this case?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand that the state will make a recommendation with regards to this accusation and we will present it to judge for her approval?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You also understand that pursuant to this plea, the state has, with your attorney, entered into a plea agreement?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that plea agreement will also become part of the terms of this agreement?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this your signature that appears on the indictment?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, the accusation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Along with the signature of your attorneys?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, at this time, I would like to indicate to the court that accusation has been signed by all parties concerned. I do have a copy of the plea agreement and would like to make it a part of the record and indicate what the terms are to the court.
JUDGE ALICE D. BONNER: You may.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, the defendant Ray Anthony Lewis and the state of Georgia, through the district attorney of Fulton County, stipulate that they have reached the following agreement regarding the disposition of charges currently pending in the above case.
The district attorney shall vet docket the pending six-count indictment against Ray Anthony Lewis. The district attorney shall prepare and file an accusation, charging the defendant with one count of misdemeanor obstruction of justice under OCGA 161024.
The parties have pre-tried this agreement with the court, and subject to its acceptance by the court, will may a recommendation that the court impose a 12-month sentence against the defendant Ray Anthony Lewis to be served on probation, with conditions.
Also subject to this plea agreement, the defendant agrees that he will testify truthfully at the trial of the co-defendants in this case, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, and any additional individuals who may be charged in the death of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.
And finally, the state agrees that there will be no further charges brought against Ray Anthony Lewis regarding the facts and circumstances of the events on January the 31st of the year 2000.
I would tender a copy of the pleading for the court for consideration. And your honor, as a factual basis to support the taking of the plea, the state would...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Lewis did knowingly resist and obstruct Detective Ken Allen (ph), who was the lead detective in this case, and other city of Atlanta law enforcement officers in the lawful discharge of their official duties by encouraging others to interfere and to hinder the investigation into the deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.
At this time, I would like to ask you, Mr. Lewis, how do you plea to one count of obstruction as contained in the accusation 00SC06574?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, please tender for the court.
BONNER: Mr. Garland, do you wish to...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just very briefly, your honor. In Fulton County, the conduct involved here, involved Ray Lewis saying to the people in the limousine: Keep your mouths shut. He also gave a partial statement, which this court heard during this trail, which did not contain all of the information. I would point out to the court that later that afternoon he called the police and invited them to come out. However, he fully acknowledges his responsibility for those acts.
BONNER: Mr. Louis, you are pleading guilty under the First Offender Act; is that correct?
LEWIS: Yes. BONNER: And you aware of the risks and the benefits of the First Offender Act under the law of this state?
BONNER: And you wish to take advantage of your right to plead guilty under the First Offender Act?
BONNER: You are pleading to the crime of obstruction of a law enforcement officer; do you understand that?
KAGAN: We've been listening to NFL star Ray Lewis as he pleads guilty to one count; a misdemeanor of obstruction of justice, this in relation to the January 31 stabbing death of Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker that happened here in Atlanta.
In exchange for this plea agreement, Ray Lewis will have the murder charges against him dropped. He will get 12 months probation, and, in an interesting twist, he becomes star witness for the prosecution in the case against the two remaining defendants, Joseph Sweeting and Reginald Oakley.
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