State News

Imprisoned wife of slain NFL player released

Posted March 2, 2009 6:37 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT

— The widow of slain former Carolina Panthers running back Fred Lane has been released from prison after serving nearly six years for his death.

Deidra Nichole Lane walked out of the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh just before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. She made no comment as she left.

The 33-year-old was convicted of manslaughter in 2003, three years after her estranged husband was found fatally shot in his Mecklenburg County home.

Prosecutors at her trial described Deidra Lane as an abusive woman who killed her husband for a $5 million insurance policy.

Defense attorneys described her as a battered wife who was beaten while she was pregnant and who killed her husband in self-defense.

Fred Lane, 24, played with the Carolina Panthers from 1997 to 2000 and was the team's all-time leading rusher at the time.

He had been traded to the Indianapolis Colts before his death.

Lane is on probation for nine months and is expected to live with her parents in Columbia, S.C.