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Lane Laid To Rest

A line stretched from Fred Lane's coffin down the aisles of The People's Church and out the door as hundreds of family and friends paid their last respects to the slain NFL running back.

A funeral for Lane, who was shot and killed last week by his wife, was set for 2 p.m. EDT, followed by a burial in his hometown south of Nashville.

An hour before the funeral, mourners were allowed to view the open coffin, which was surrounded by flowers, Lane's Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers jerseys and photos from his NFL days.

A banner reading, "The Lane Family Is Proud Of You Fred Jr.", shared the stage with a large video screen projecting a verse from Psalm 23: "He makes me lie down in green pastures."

Lane, 24, was traded to the Colts in April after three seasons with the Panthers, where he was the team's leading career rusher.

Police said Deidra Lane killed her husband Thursday, ending a troubled relationship that was complicated by the birth of their first child two weeks ago. No charges have been filed against Deidra Lane, who was questioned and released by police.

She did not attend visitation Monday at a funeral home in Charlotte and she was not expected to attend Tuesday's funeral.

Among those expected to speak at the service were former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joe Gilliam Jr., who coached Lane in 1993 at Lane College in Jackson, Tenn.; Lane's parents, Fred and Mary Lane; and several Carolina teammates and coaches.

Deidra Lane released a statement through her attorney Sunday in which she said she loved her husband and shares his family's grief over his death.

"At his best, Fred could be very good," she said. "At his worst, Fred was very different. I choose to remember Fred at his best. I want to help all of our children to remember Fred at his best."

"Celebrity and the environment that comes with fame surrounded our lives and was sometimes a destructive force," she added.

About 500 mourners, including some of Lane's former Panthers teammates, attended Monday's visitation.

"He was a lot of fun," said Tony Wise, Panthers offensive line coach. "He and I used to rib each other a lot in practice. He just had a great attitude."

The majority of the mourners were football fans, including one young man who came to the visitation wearing Lane's old No. 32 Panthers jersey.

"Football fans just loved him," said Walter Truesdale, who called himself a fan and a friend of Lane. "He was an all-around great guy with the million dollar smile."

Lane is survived by his infant daughter, parents nd two other daughters, a 3-year-old in Nashville and a 6-month-old in Jackson.

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