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Ray Lewis Avoids Murder Charge

June 5, 2000

ATLANTA (AP) _ Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will avoid murder charges and jail time under an agreement approved by a judge today in which he will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner agreed to a deal struck Sunday by prosecutors and Lewis’ attorneys.

``It’s a good day for Ray,″ defense attorney Don Samuel said he entered the courthouse for the day’s court session.

Lewis walked in a few minutes later, tossing the yellow tennis ball he has clutched throughout the first two weeks of testimony in his murder trial.

The misdemeanor charge, obstruction of justice, carries a maximum sentence of 12 months probation with first offender status.

Lewis and two friends, Joseph Sweeting and Reginald Oakley, were charged with murder, felony murder and aggravated assault in the stabbing deaths of two men after a post-Super Bowl party in Atlanta in January.

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