Police: Colts' Lane Killed by Wife

Friday, July 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — No charges have been filed in the shooting death of NFL running back Fred Lane, although investigators determined his wife shot him during a domestic dispute.

The former Carolina Panthers runner, traded to the Indianapolis Colts in April after several brushes with the law, was shot and killed Thursday at the couple's home.

Authorities said Deidra Lane, 25, shot her husband, but after speaking with her late into the evening, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police decided not to file charges.

``The investigation to this point has revealed that Deidra Lane shot her husband during a domestic dispute,'' the police said in a statement.

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office will determine if charges will be filed once the investigation is complete, police said.

The 24-year-old Lane, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound running back, became the Panthers' leading career rusher in November before he was traded to the Colts. He was pronounced dead at his Charlotte home at 3:15 p.m.

A 7-day-old infant was with Deidra Lane at the police station. Their house was decorated with pink balloons and a pink stork. The Lanes also have a 5-year-old son.

The Colts released a statement that said the team was ``shocked and saddened'' by news of Lane's death.

Lane's father, Fred Lane Sr., said his son and daughter-in-law had been having difficulties recently. Lane spent the past couple of weeks at the family home in Nashville, Tenn., but visited Charlotte briefly a week ago, his father said.

He left Tennessee on a flight to Charlotte about two hours before he was shot, the elder Lane said.

Deidra Lane filed a complaint against her husband in March, saying he snatched a necklace from around her neck during an argument, causing her to fall. She did not press charges.

Lane also had a case pending against him related to his Feb. 3 arrest in Tennessee. A grand jury in Jackson, Tenn., indicted him Monday on the misdemeanor drug charges, but prosecutors dropped weapons charges against him, saying there wasn't enough evidence to support it.

The Panthers suspended Lane for one game in 1998 when he made a lewd gesture to fans at Giants Stadium after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets. The same season, he was demoted to special teams duty after missing a team flight to Dallas, and later apologized for refusing to stand for the national anthem at a game in Buffalo.

At the time of the trade, Carolina coach George Seifert said team owner Jerry Richardson never ordered him to drop Lane, but he knew the Panthers had to cut their ties with troublesome players.

Lane spent three seasons with Carolina and finished with 2,004 yards rushing.

Lane Sr. said his son was training in Indianapolis before visiting Tennessee. ``Everything was going great,'' in his son's life, he said.

The Panthers re-signed Lane before the 1999 season to a two-year, $1.276 million contract with a $300,000 signing bonus. Lane shared rushing duties with Tshimanga Biakabutuka and played largely as a backup late in the season.

In what would be his last game for Carolina, Lane started for an injured Biakabutuka and rushed for a season-high 90 yards and his only touchdown of the season in a loss at Pittsburgh.

Lane was one of two former Panthers to face legal troubles in recent months.

Rae Carruth, the Panthers' top 1997 draft pick, was charged last fall with fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams. Carruth is being held without bond in Charlotte while he awaits trial.