Witness: I Saw Lewis Kick Victim

Friday, May 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) — A witness currently in jail testified Friday that he saw NFL star Ray Lewis kicking a small man in a street brawl that led to two stabbing deaths.

Chester Anderson, jailed on identification fraud charges, told jurors that he saw Lewis kick a man who was lying on the ground on an Atlanta street as bars were closing the morning after the Super Bowl.

Anderson, who said he was a good friend of NFL player Bam Morris, admitted occasionally using Morris' NFL identification for himself. Morris, who retired after the 1999 season, faces up to 40 years in prison on unrelated drug and money laundering charges.

Anderson said he was walking from another bar on Jan. 31 when he came upon the fight. He is the first witness in the four-day trial to testify that Lewis was an active participant in the melee.

Lewis, the leading tackler in the NFL last season, is charged with murder along with friends Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting for the deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.

Even if Lewis didn't stab one of the victims, he could be convicted of murder if he was involved in the fight that led to the killings.

The victims were stabbed in a brawl after a Super Bowl party at a nightclub in Atlanta. Lewis, 25, was in town for Super Bowl activities.

Anderson said he waited several weeks to come forward because of a promise he made to friends he was with on the night of Jan. 31.

``When we left the scene we had a mutual agreement not to say anything,'' Anderson said.

Anderson added that prosecutors had not promised leniency or threatened him in exchange for his testimony.

Earlier Friday, a woman riding in Lewis' limousine testified she did not see him throw any punches or kick anyone during the fight.

Keiva Walls, a Houston hairstylist who met Lewis for the first time Super Bowl weekend, said she saw blood in the limousine after a fight. Walls also testified that she was in Lewis' hotel room after the fight and heard him say, ``I'm not trying to end my career like this.'' She said at the time she did not know two men had been killed.

Patrick Ozonu, a cab driver, told the jury he saw a man with an athletic build standing over a body and pointing angrily.

``He has a body I could envy. He was built like a V,'' Ozonu said. ``He kept on pointing and talking to the body that was down.''

But under cross-examination, Ozonu said the man pointing at the body was smaller than Lewis, who also has an athletic build. Lewis lawyer Ed Garland suggested the man pointing was a friend of the victim, and Ozonu said that was a possibility.

Ozonu said he saw six men beating one man, but he could not identify anyone in the fight.

Walls said 11 people and a driver were in Lewis' limousine after the fight, including two people known to Walls as Gino and Claudus, who police have not found or identified.

Walls said she saw no knives, punches or kicks.

``You never saw anyone who is on trial in this case with a knife?'' asked Steve Sadow, Sweeting's attorney.

``That's correct,'' Walls said.

However, Walls did testify that on her way home, a friend named Carlos got out of the car with a brown paper bag and started walking toward a garbage bin.