Yes I know there is a thread right below this about jamal, but this is new stuff!
Jamal Lewis has reached a tentative plea agreement that will help him avoid a jury trial and a possible prison sentence related to the federal drug conspiracy charges that have been filed against him, according to ESPN.com reporter Len Pasquarelli. Although Lewis is denying any knowledge of the plea negotiations between prosecutors and his lawyers, multiple sources are claiming that talks have been taking place for a few weeks. "There would be no jail time that would interfere with his career," one source told the Associated Press. It is believed that Lewis might have to serve between two and six months in prison, a halfway house, or some combination of both during the offseason.
Lewis isn't out of the woods yet, as he still faces a possible punishment from the league. He has violated the substance abuse policy on two previous occasions, which caused him to be suspended for four games during the 2001 season, which he missed entirely due to a knee injury. Even if the charges against Lewis are reduced because of a plea agreement, the league could still elect to fine, suspend, or even banish him altogether. It's unlikely that the league would choose the latter option, but a suspension is a strong possibility. Whether the league elects to punish Lewis this season will likely depend on when his plea agreement is announced publicly. According to the ESPN.com report, that announcement could come as soon as next week, which means he could potentially be suspended at some point this season. We'll continue to keep you updated on this story as more information becomes available.
Updating an ongoing story, Jeff Barker and Jamison Hensley, of the Baltimore Sun, report Baltimore Ravens RB Jamal Lewis has reached a plea bargain in his drug conspiracy case under which the veteran running back will face four to six months in prison. Lewis will likely begin serving his term following the season. He will not have to go to trial in November, where he could have faced up to 10 years in prison, if convicted. Lewis could also face significant punishment from the NFL - potentially a suspension of more than a year and/or an extensive fine - based on the league's substance-abuse policy.
Oct 2 Lewis has reached a plea-bargain agreement in his drug conspiracy case under which he will receive four to six months in prison, a term he almost certainly will not begin serving until after the football season is over, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Recommendation: With this deal, Lewis would not have to submit to the scheduled November trial nor worry any longer about a possibly career ending ten+ year jail term. His sentence "is expected to be on the low end of four to six months and could include time in a halfway house". Though Lewis could still face punishment from the NFL in the form of suspension and/or extensive fine, this resolution has to be considered a victory - and a huge relief - for the reigning NFL offensive player of the year.
Until you see quotes from the league, the suspension talk is just rumor. ESPN or any other news source has no knowledge of what the NFL will do. I think they will give him a big fine, but I doubt you'll see much in the way of a suspension.
-- While the deal will not be announced until some time next week, Baltimore Ravens tailback Jamal Lewis has reached a tentative plea agreement that will allow him to avoid both a jury trial next month on drug charges and a potentially career-ending prison sentence.
Various sources from federal agencies and the NFL, and others with knowledge of the plea agreement, confirmed the deal, although Lewis told the Baltimore Sun Friday that he had no knowledge of the negotiations. Attorneys involved either did not return phone calls or declined comment.
An Atlanta native, Lewis is charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine and using a cell phone to plan a drug transaction. The charges are the result of an FBI investigation in the summer of 2000. If convicted, Lewis could have faced a sentence of at least 10 years, which essentially would have ended his NFL career.
The Sun reported the plea agreement in its Saturday editions. The original story concerning negotiations to keep Lewis out of court was published Friday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Federal authorities confirmed Friday for ESPN.com that talks between prosecutors and Lewis' attorneys had been ongoing for a few weeks.
One source contended a resolution was not imminent, but clearly the discussions were on a faster track than he indicated. Other sources said that Lewis likely will serve 2-6 months in prison, a halfway house or a combination of both.
"There would be no jail time that would interfere with his career," a source close to the case, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the AP.
A key element to negotiations, sources said, was not only how much time Lewis might spend in prison, but also when it would be served. It is likely, since he has signed off on the plea bargain, that his sentence would be served during the NFL offseason.
Because the paperwork will not be filed until next week, when U.S. district judge Orinda Evans convenes a public hearing, the charges to which Lewis agreed are not yet certain. As presiding judge in the case, Evans must approve the plea agreement, but is expected to do so.
Lewis in February pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $500,000 bond. His attorneys, the high-profile Atlanta tandem of Don Samuel and Ed Garland, staunchly reiterated their client's innocence. But the specter of a jury trial, scheduled for Nov. 1, and all the possibilities inherent in such a proceeding became the catalyst for the plea agreement. It is not known who initiated the negotiations.
One source said Friday that, as part of any deal, Lewis would "almost beyond doubt" have to provide the prosecution with testimony against his friend Angelo Jackson, who is facing similar charges. It is alleged that Lewis introduced Tomeka Richard to Jackson, a longtime buddy from his neighborhood. Richard was working with the FBI and posing as a drug dealer in a sting operation when she contacted the Ravens tailback in June 2000. Later that summer, Jackson allegedly met with Richard to plan a drug deal.
Richard is a key witness but, if the case had proceeded to trial, it is generally agreed that the defense would vigorously attempt to impeach her credibility. Even while cooperating with the FBI, court and arrest records indicate, Richard continued to commit other crimes, most of them related to fraud.
Lewis might not be formally sentenced until Jackson's case is resolved.
Even with the plea agreement, Lewis probably faces sanctions, perhaps severe, from the NFL, sources agreed. Lewis has violated the league substance-abuse policy on at least two previous occasions, and was suspended without pay for four games in 2001, a season he missed anyway because of a knee injury suffered in training camp. He could also come under the purview of the NFL personal conduct policy.
Under terms of the that policy, a player is subject to review even if he enters "a plea to a lesser … offense." Punitive action from the NFL would be at the discretion of the commissioner and can range from a fine, to suspension, to banishment from the league.
Lewis, 25, was a first-round draft choice of the Ravens in 2000. The alleged drug crimes occurred after the draft but before Lewis, who played at Tennessee, signed his first NFL contract.
Except for 2001, Lewis has led the Ravens in rushing every year he's been in the league. In '03, he became only the fifth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season
looks like 2-6 months
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with the nfl being so layed back about the O. Smith suspension. I do not see them suspending jamal for anytime. Just a big fine. If Jamal was suspended, this would ruin all of the ravens chances about going to a superbowl, or attempting to go. It makes you think why the nfl keeps on delaying the smith suspension. think about it!