Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Muhammad finally putting Fred Lane's death behind him
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Muhsin Muhammad went to court this week
to defend former teammate Fred Lane's character. With that
testimony finished, the Carolina wide receiver is now trying to put
Lane's death behind him.
Lane was killed July 6, 2000, when he was shot to death by his
wife, Deidra, as he entered his south Charlotte home.
Prosecutors have depicted Deidra Lane as a cold-blooded murderer
who wanted to collect on a $5 million life insurance policy.
Defense lawyers argue that Deidra Lane was protecting herself from
an abusive husband.
She pleaded guilty in August to voluntary manslaughter and
Muhammad was called to testify Monday at her sentencing hearing.
"It was a tough time and Fred has been gone for three years now
and it's kind of hard digging up old wounds and scratching at old
wounds," he said. "Once you bury a guy, you have to come back and
remember those memories that happened. It kind of digs up old
Muhammad testified Monday that he saw deep scratches on the
running back's neck and that Lane told him about fights with his
wife. At a party, Muhammad said, he witnessed Deidra Lane try to
hit her husband during an argument. He said Lane pushed his wife
away -- not violently, but to keep her away from him.
"I felt that their relationship was pretty unhealthy,"
Muhammad testified. "It was always kind of up and down."
Prosecutors are seeking a maximum eight-year prison sentence for
Deidra Lane. She already has served three years.
Muhammad hopes to finally move on once sentencing is over, and
said appearing in court was the first step.
"I think once that day was over with the other day, I was able
to put it at rest and finally try to start moving on," he said.
"I pray for Fred's family and also Deidra's family, too, because
she's going to have to answer to God for what she did."