Lanes' Marriage Was Troubled, Friends Say

The family and friends of Indianapolis Colts running back Fred Lane, who was shot to death by his wife during a domestic dispute, said Lane and his wife were having money and other problems before the shooting.

Fred Lane’s father says his son returned from Tennessee to North Carolina the day he was shot and killed so he could raise some cash, not to reconcile with Deidra Lane.

Family, friends and former teammates of the former Carolina Panthers running back also said Lane told them he was broke and that Deidra Lane was concealing the location of their money.

“He was going to sell [a] motorcycle, so he would have some money,” Fred Lane Sr. said Saturday. “She wouldn’t tell him where [the couple’s money] was.”

Neither Deidra Lane, who has been in seclusion since the incident, nor her attorneys could be reached for comment.

Police in Charlotte, N.C. said Deidra Lane, 25, shot her husband in their home Thursday. The 24-year-old running back, the Carolina Panthers’ all-time leading rusher, was pronounced dead at their residence at 3:15 p.m.

Teammates: Wife Was Reckless

On Saturday, Fred Lane Sr. said his daughter-in-law had fired a shot through a wall at the Charlotte home two weeks before the fatal shooting. The elder Lane stressed, however, that Mrs. Lane didn’t shoot in the direction of her husband.

Former teammates of Fred Lane on the Carolina Panthers say they have scheduled a meeting with police investigators to relay what they claim was reckless behavior by Deidra Lane, The [Nashville] Tennessean reported today.

Running back William Floyd said he, Chris Terry and Muhsin Muhammad, set up the meeting.

Floyd and two of Lane’s other friends said Lane had told them that Deidra Lane had drained the couple’s bank account.

Bryant Pelpes, a friend of Lane’s in Charlotte, said he had to loan Lane a total of $155 on two separate occasions to get home after Lane told him he was broke. According to Pelpes, Lane said Deidra Lane had told him she’d been sending money to a financial planner, but when Lane called the financial planner recently he had no knowledge of the money’s whereabouts.

Fred Lane Sr. confirmed that story.

Legal Troubles

In July 1995, Deidra Lane, then Deidra Gary, was charged with attempted armed robbery of the South Carolina State Credit Union in Columbia, the FBI reported Saturday. A woman entered the credit union, told the teller she had a gun and demanded money, but left without any cash.

She was arrested 20 minutes later at her home. The eventual outcome of the case could not immediately be determined.

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

The 24-year-old running back also had a case pending against him related to his Feb. 3 arrest after officers found 1.3 grams of marijuana and a .22-caliber rifle in his car, police said. Lane was charged then with possession of a deadly weapon and marijuana.

A grand jury in Jackson, Tenn., indicted Lane on the misdemeanor drug charges, but prosecutors dropped weapons charges against him, saying Wednesday there wasn’t enough evidence to support it.

Charges Weren’t Filed

Authorities, who spoke with Deidra the evening of the shooting, said via a statement that she had shot her husband during a domestic dispute. Police decided not to file charges, but Mecklenburg County prosecutors will ultimately decide whether she should be charged in Lane’s death.

A 7-day-old daughter was with Deidra Lane when she was questioned at the police station. The couple also was raising Deidra’s 5-year-old son from another relationship.

Carolina Standout

Fred Lane played three seasons for Carolina before being traded to Indianapolis in the off season. He remains the Panthers’ career rushing leader with 2,001 yards.

At the time of his trade, Carolina coach George Seifert said that team owner Jerry Richardson never ordered him to drop Lane, but he knew the Panthers had to cut their ties with troublesome players. Seifert hinted that Lane never understood the scrutiny that professional athletes were under.

Originally from Franklin, Tenn., Lane went to Lane College and signed as a free agent with Carolina in 1997.

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.