Deidra Lane, 25, planned her husband's
death to collect on a $5 million life insurance policy taken out
between 30 and 45 days before the shooting, assistant district
attorney Gentry Caudill said at a bond hearing.
Mecklenburg County Superior Court
Judge Richard Boner ruled Deidra Lane could be released on $100,000
Caudill said prosecutors had not
decided on whether to pursue the death penalty, but told the judge
Mrs. Lane's premeditation could qualify as a capital offense.
"Fred lane had no value to Deidra
Lane while he was alive," Caudill said. "The state contends this was
first-degree murder. She laid in wait to kill him."
Defense attorney Henderson Hill
told the judge that Deidra Lane posed no risk of flight or danger to
anyone in the community.
"There is just tragedy all over
this case, there's no question about that," Hill said.
In addition, she is nursing the
couple's eight-week-old daughter. Deidra Lane's 4-year-old son from a
previous relationship is suffering from the loss of his father figure
and his mother's arrest, Hill said.
"I think the emotional health of
this young 25-year-old and her two young children are very important
factors that should weigh heavily on your decision on whether she
should be released," Hill said.
Deidra Lane hung her head and
sobbed heavily as Hill spoke.
Boner offered no reason why he
decided to set bond.
He ordered Deidra Lane not to
leave Mecklenburg County. He warned that the $100,000 in cash or
assets posted as bond would be forfeit if she failed to appear at
Fred Lane, 24, was shot and
killed July 6 during an argument with his wife at the couple's home.
She was charged with murder this week.
Caudill had opposed the bond,
saying the couple had separated two weeks before the slaying after
Deidra Lane pointed a pistol at her husband. He moved in with
relatives in Nashville, Tenn., after training with the Indianapolis
Colts. The running back had been traded from the Carolina Panthers to
the Colts in April.
"They separated because Deidra
Lane was going through all his money," Caudill said. "He was making
$600,000 a year but when he went back to Nashville he was almost
penniless because Deidra Lane controlled all of their money."
Deidra Lane bought the plane
ticket for her husband to fly from Nashville to Charlotte and arranged
for her brother to pick Fred Lane up at airport, Caudill said. Mrs.
Lane's mother, who had been living with her in the couple's home, and
Deidra Lane's 4-year-old son from a previous relationship, were not at
home at the time of the shooting.
"When police arrived at the
residence, Fred Lane's keys were in the door. His bags were still in
the foyer and a 12-gauge shotgun was on the floor," Caudill said.
Blood splatter patterns indicated
that the first shotgun blast hit Fred Lane in the chest, the
"That shot in effect blew out
Fred Lane's heart," Caudill said. "As Fred Lane lay there dying.
Deidra Lane walked through his blood and put the shotgun up to his
head and blew his skull off."
An autopsy released Thursday said
showed one gun blast struck him behind the right ear. It traveled
upward, slightly to the left and slightly forward, injuring the skull
and brain. An X-ray revealed about 16 shotgun pellets, most of which
were recovered from the skull and scalp, the autopsy said.
The other blast struck Lane in
the upper right chest, traveling to the left and slightly downward and
injuring his heart, lungs and other internal organs.
Fred Lane's father, Fred Lane
Sr., watched the hearing from the front row of courtroom seats
directly behind Deidra Lane. He put head down and placed a hand over
his eyes as the judge said he would allow Mrs. Lane free on bond.
Fred Lane Sr. declined to speak
to reporters after the hearing.
Deidra Lane's parents also left
Lane's death came eight months
after former Carolina teammate Rae Carruth and three other men were
charged with killing Carruth's pregnant girlfriend. Carruth, 26, is
being held without bond awaiting trial for first-degree murder.
Lane, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound
running back, played for three seasons with Carolina and became the
Panthers' leading career rusher in November.
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 Biakabutuka
but played largely as a backup late in the season.
Fred Lane found shot to death
July 7, 2000
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Indianapolis Colts running back
Fred Lane, whose brushes with the law increased as his career faded,
was shot to death Thursday by his wife, police said.
Lane was pronounced dead at his Charlotte home at
3:15 p.m. after an argument with his wife, 25-year-old Deidra. No
charges were immediately filed.
Lane, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound running back, was the
leading career rusher for the Carolina Panthers, who traded him to the
Colts in April.
Police questioned Deidra Lane, along with family
members and neighbors.
"The investigation to this point has revealed that
Deidra Lane shot her husband during a domestic dispute," the police
said in a statement.
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 had spent
the past couple of weeks at the family home in Nashville, Tenn., but
visited Charlotte briefly a week ago, his father said.
He had 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, 24, 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
The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Lane was the leading
career rusher for the Panthers.
At the time of his 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
Lane spent three seasons with Carolina and finished
with 2,004 yards rushing.
Lane Sr. said his son had been training in
Indianapolis before visiting Tennessee. "Everything was going great,"
in his son's life, he said.
Lane is 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.
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 but 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.
Fred Brown Lane, Jr.
(September 6, 1975 – July 6, 2000) was an American football running
back in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers.
Lane was born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee.
His father, Fred Lane, Sr., was a star at the old Natchez High School
(which later desegregated with Franklin High). Attending Franklin
Junior High School, it was noticed that Lane possessed uncommon speed
and agility for such a young player.
Lane attended Franklin High School, amassing over
1,000 yards his senior year, while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. His
number, 28, is retired by the school.
Lane attended Lane College in
Jackson, Tennessee. He finished his career with 3,612 rushing yards,
just ten yards behind Tre Rowland.
Lane was signed as an undrafted free agent by the
Panthers before the 1997 NFL season. He set a then-team record that
year with a 147 rushing yard performance. During his three years with
the Panthers, he accumulated 2,001 rushing yards (the most in
franchise history at the time) and 13 touchdowns.
In 1998, Lane was late for the team's charter plane
to Dallas, and was benched as punishment. Later that season, he
celebrated a touchdown by grabbing his crotch. The gesture was not
seen on national television, but was captured by WBTV in Charlotte.
When the Panthers saw it, they benched Lane for the next week's game.
Lane also embarrassed himself and the Panthers by putting on another
elaborate celebration of a touchdown—in a game where the New York Jets
defeated Carolina 52-24.
In April 2000, his wife Deidra Lane filed a
complaint against him for domestic violence. Shortly thereafter, he
was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, where he was set to back up
On July 5, 2000, Lane made a phone call to his
father telling him that he wanted to sell his motorcycle because he
needed the cash. On July 6, 2000, he was shot and killed by his wife
Deidra during an alleged domestic dispute. Law enforcement
investigators believe Deidra Lane shot her husband moments after he
arrived at their Mecklenburg home for the $5 million in life insurance
Deidra pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter. She
claimed that Fred emotionally and physically abused her; however, the
judge ruled that the shooting was premeditated and that she
deliberately shot Fred twice, even though the first shot rendered him
helpless. The judge determined that those factors outweighed the
alleged abuse and gave her eight years in prison, the maximum sentence
allowed. She served her sentence at Raleigh Correctional Center for
Women. She was released on March 3, 2009.