Atlanta police want to question two of NFL star Ray Lewis' friends in connection with the stabbing deaths of two men earlier this week.
Investigators said Wednesday they are looking for A.J. Johnson, who had a tryout with the Miami Dolphins, and Kwame King, who grew up in Lewis' home town.
Detectives said King and Johnson were among the people in the limousine that was seen speeding away from the intersection where Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar were stabbed to death early Monday, hours after the Super Bowl. There were not arrest warrants for King or Johnson by Wednesday evening, detectives said.
So far, only Lewis, an All-Pro middle linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens, has been charged in the killings. Lewis, 24, maintains his innocence. He is being held without bail on two murder charges in the Atlanta City Jail. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24. Erik Friedly, a spokesman for the Fulton County district attorney, said it doesn't matter if Lewis actually held the knife _ he can still be tried for murder if he helped the killer or was involved in the fight that preceded the slayings.
Police spokesman John Quigley would not comment on Johnson and King, but said, "There are other persons involved. Whether suspects or witnesses, we are interested in speaking to them."
King's sister, Ameera Brewer, lives on the same street in Lakeland as Lewis' grandmother. "He didn't do it," Brewer said of Lewis, before it was known that her brother was wanted for questioning. "He's innocent. We're on his side."
Johnson, 25, spent three weeks in the Miami Dolphins' training camp in 1997, according to Harvey Greene, the team's vice president for public relations. Johnson's stepfather, Ronald William Taylor of Pahokee, said Wednesday night that he now lives in Maryland.
Dr. John Parker, a forensic pathologist with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, said Wednesday that police had retrieved knives from the Lincoln Navigator limousine, but had not yet released the weapons to the medical examiner's office.
Parker said Baker, 21, and Lollar, 24, both of Decatur, Ga., were each stabbed three times in the heart and chest. He is trying to determine if they were stabbed with the same knife.
The two men "died rapidly," and probably bled to death from their injuries.
"A typical pocket knife could do this," Parker said. "Whoever did this knew exactly where to hit and do the damage _ they knew something about anatomy."
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