In January 1992, federal agents indicted Sullivan on interstate murder-conspiracy charges in Atlanta. Sullivan spared no expense in hiring Ed Garland and Don Samuel-two of the top criminal defense lawyers in the country. The duo's long list of clients include Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, acquitted of involvement in a post-Super Bowl Buckhead bar brawl that left a man dead; Larry Gleit, CFO of the now-defunct Gold Club, who walked away with a misdemeanor charge in his federal racketeering case; and Jim Williams, protagonist in the nonfiction tale Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, acquitted of murder in his fourth trial.
The federal charge of interstate murder conspiracy, by using interstate commerce to commit murder, put the onus on the federal government to prove interstate nexus. Despite the circumstantial evidence-primarily the collect call Sullivan received the day of Lita's shooting-prosecution could never prove the content of the phone conversation. Judge Marvin Shoob dismissed the case for insufficient evidence on November 23, 1992.