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Ray Lewis Offers Damaging Testimony Against Former Co- Defendants

Aired June 6, 2000 - 1:04 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now to Atlanta, where a football star and former murder suspect took the witness stand today against his former co-defendants.

As you may have seen live here on CNN, Ray Lewis, one of the Baltimore Ravens, talked in detail about the post-Super Bowl street fight that left two men dead.

CNN's Brian Cabell joins us now from the courthouse with the latest -- Brian.

BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Kyra.

Ray Lewis took the stand for about two hours this morning and came across as calm, composed and apparently forthright. He of course said he was not involved in any of the fighting on that fateful night on the 31st of January. He said he did none of the kicking whatsoever. And he said repeatedly he tried to stop the fighting.

However, on the witness stand today, he did introduce some damaging evidence, very possibly, against his two former co- defendants, most particularly Reginald Oakley. He's the one with the shaved head here. He testified that Oakley got out of the limo -- apparently unprovoked -- was hit over the head by a bottle and then charged toward one of the victims and fought with him for quite some time.

And afterwards, Lewis said he had a conversation with Oakley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAY LEWIS, PROSECUTION WITNESS: When I walked back in the room, I asked him, I said: "Hey man, what happened?" He's like: "Nothing." I said: "Man." I said: "What the hell you was doing?" He was like: "Nothing." He said: "I was just beating him."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABELL: The second defendant, Joseph Sweeting, a slightly different story -- Lewis testified that Sweeting was calm that night. He was not looking for a fight. He's a rather slight man as well. And Lewis testified that Sweeting was actually dragged away by two larger men. But then again afterwards -- a couple hours afterwards -- Lewis once again had a conversation with Sweeting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL HOWARD, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: With the pointer that you have in your hand, would you indicate the manner in which you saw Joseph Sweeting holding something in his hand?

LEWIS: Yes, he had the knife like in his hand like this. The blade wasn't out, or anything like that. So he had the knife like this. And I said: "Damn, man, what happened?" He said: "Lewlew (ph), every time they hit me, I hit them."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABELL: The defense strategy here is very clear. They are trying to prove that the two clients here -- that their two defendants -- were acting in self-defense, nothing more -- that they were attacked, they were provoked, and all they did was fight back -- and secondly, that nobody, not even Ray Lewis, saw anybody stab anybody else.

As for Lewis, he will testify again this afternoon. And then he's hoping to get back to Baltimore, and play some football.

I'm Brian Cabell, CNN Live, in Atlanta.

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