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Originally published Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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NFL | Lack of motive slows ruling on death of Steve McNair's girlfriend

Tennessee's state medical examiner said Tuesday that investigators have been hesitant to conclude Steve McNair's girlfriend killed the former...


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee's state medical examiner said Tuesday that investigators have been hesitant to conclude Steve McNair's girlfriend killed the former quarterback and herself because she didn't appear to have a motive. But he added that murder-suicide is the most likely scenario.

After the couple was discovered shot to death Saturday, police were quick to label McNair's death a homicide. McNair, 36, had been shot twice in the head and twice in the chest.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi was dead from a single gunshot to the head. Under her body was a gun police say she purchased Thursday.

Investigators were waiting on ballistics tests on the weapon before issuing a ruling on Kazemi's death, which medical examiner Bruce Levy said could come in the next few days.

Kazemi's gun purchase, revealed Monday, is a strong indication she was responsible, Levy said.

"If we had known on Sunday about the gun, I think we would have been very comfortable in ruling murder-suicide," he said.

Levy said an apparent lack of motive by Kazemi has made investigators careful about exploring every possibility, including the scenario a third party could have staged the scene.

Members of Kazemi's family have said she seemed happy with McNair.

Levy said McNair, who is survived by a wife and four children, was shot in each temple and one of the shots to the temple came from inches away.

The gun that killed Kazemi was in contact with her head when it discharged, Levy said.



• Cleveland receiver Donte' Stallworth told police he drank up to four shots of premium tequila while partying with friends — including fellow Browns receiver Braylon Edwards — at a Miami Beach, Fla., club but Stallworth said he did not feel drunk in the hours before he struck and killed pedestrian Mario Reyes, 59, with his car March 14.

Lab tests showed Stallworth, 28, had a blood-alcohol level of .126 percent, above the .08 percent limit. The toxicology analysis also confirms reports Stallworth tested positive for marijuana in addition to alcohol. Stallworth is serving a 30-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter.

• Yahoo Inc. and the NFL Players Association have reached a settlement over the use of players' statistics, photos and other data in Yahoo's online fantasy football game.

• Linebacker Michael Boley, 26, of the New York Giants was suspended by the league for the first game of the season for violating its personal-conduct policy. He was charged with battery on his wife last year.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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Union, league negotiators to resume talks Monday | NFL

No new deal in NFL labor talks; deadline extended