Rae Carruth has spent the last 17 years in prison. The former NFL wide receiver was found guilty for conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams in 1999. He was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to 18 to 24 years behind bars.
The courts say Carruth hired Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy to murder Adams. Watkins, who shot Adams multiple times, was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison. Kennedy, who drove the car, was released in 2011.
The murder still resonates with Cherica’s mother, Saundra, who continues to raise Carruth’s son to this day. Carruth said he will seek custody of the boy when he is released from prison. He recently called the newsroom of a Charlotte TV station, WBTV, to try and get his side of the story out to the public.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Carruth Wrote A 15-Page Letter Telling His Side
For the first time since being locked up, Carruth broke his silence about the murder. He wrote a 15-page handwritten letter to Cherica’s mother Saundra, which was sent to Charlotte TV station WBTV.
Part of the letter states: “If I could change anything, I’d change the whole situation. His mother would still be here and I wouldn’t be where I’m at. So that’s what I’d want to change. I want the incident to never have happened at all.”
You can read the letter in it’s entirety here.
2. He Was Found Guilty Of Conspiracy To Murder Cherica Adams
It was a case that received national attention. In 2001, Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder of his girlfriend, Cherica Adams, who was pregnant with Carruth’s child. She was shot four times by someone Carruth hired to pull the trigger.
WBTV reports: “He was arrested twice in the months after the shooting; first, in November 1999 on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder, among other charges. He was arrested a second time a month later, in December 1999, after Adams died. FBI agents found Carruth hiding in the trunk of a car in the parking lot of a Best Western hotel in Tennessee. He, along with three co-defendants, was charged with murder.”
3. Carruth Wants Custody Of His Son
Despite the death of his mother, Carruth’s son was born. Chancellor Lee Adams is now 18 years old. He is being raised by Cherica’s mother, Saundra Adams. Chancellor has overcome a lot during his life, suffering through the loss of his mother and a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
Carruth’s letter makes it very clear who he feels should be in custody of his son: “I should be raising my son. His mother should be raising her son,” Carruth said. “Ms. Adams should not be doing this and I want that responsibility back.”
WBTV reports: “While he’s only met his son twice, both times in the early years of his life, Carruth has kept a close eye on Chancellor through frequent newspaper and television stories. And he says Chancellor alone is the reason he’s finally deciding to break his silence as his October release date quickly approaches.”
4. He Will Be Released From Prison in October 2018
Carruth will be a free man on October 22nd, 2018 when he’s released from Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina. He claims he has changed since his incarceration, citing a relationship with god. He also admits the version of himself in the public eye 20 years ago was “immature and self-centered.”
“When I first got incarcerated I would ask myself how did this happen? How are you here? And the number one answer that I had was I didn’t have a relationship with God,” Carruth told WBTV. “And I know some people might smirk or laugh about that but I know now that I have a very real relationship with God and that’s changed a lot of the ways that I see and view a lot of things”.
5. Carruth Was A First-Round Draft Pick
Carruth was a star wide receiver at the University of Colorado in the late 90’s. He was drafted in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers with the 27th overall pick.
Carrtuth’s first season in pro football was his best. He played in 15 games for the Panthers, catching 44 passes for 545 yards and four touchdowns. Over the next two seasons he played in only seven games before his life unraveled in 1999 when his legal troubles began.
WBTV reported: “The thought of a 1997 first round draft pick having the soon-to-be mother of his child killed in order to avoid paying child support didn’t make much sense. But that’s what police said happened.”