Fred Lane
No. 32     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1975-09-06)September 6, 1975
Place of birth: Franklin, Tennessee
Date of death: July 6, 2000(2000-07-06) (aged 24)
Place of death: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Career information
College: Lane College
Debuted in 1997 for the Carolina Panthers
Last played in 1999 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Career NFL statistics as of 1999
Rushing yards     2,001
Rushing average     4.0
Touchdowns     13
Stats at

Fred Brown Lane, Jr. (September 6, 1975 – July 6, 2000) was an American football running back in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers.

Early lifeEdit

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.

College careerEdit

Lane attended Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. He finished his career with 3,612 rushing yards, just ten yards behind Tre Rowland.

Pro careerEdit

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.[1] 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.[2] 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 Edgerrin James.


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 he carried.

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.[3] She was released on March 3, 2009.[4]


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