Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver WR Rae Carruth walked out of the Sampson Correctional Institution Monday morning (Oct. 22) after serving 20 years for hatching a plan to kill his then-pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams. Carruth donned a knitted cap and was silent as he left the North Carolina prison.
On November 16, 1999, Carruth paid Van Brett Watkins $5,000 to kill Adams. According to reports, Carruth stopped his car in front of Adams as they left a movie while Watkins pulled up alongside and shot her four times. Adams died about a month later while their son, Chancellor Lee Adams now 18, survived. Yet due to a lack of blood and oxygen flow when he was born caused permanent brain damage. Chancellor has cerebral palsy and is being raised by his grandmother Saundra Adams
Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 18 to 24 years. He was acquitted of first-degree murder which would’ve carried a life in prison sentence. Watkins was given a 40-year sentence.
In 2015, journalist Scott Fowler interviewed Carruth’s son then 16 for The Charlotte Observer. Saundra Adams was quoted saying upon Carruth’s release she hopes they can have a relationship.
Carruth was a first-round draft pick and reportedly earned $40,000 a game. The motive to kill Adams was because he didn’t want to pay child support. In the end, it was Watkins who implicated Carruth during trial and Adams frightening 911 call.
Last week Carruth told WSOC-TV in Charlotte he wants to be forgiven and is scared about how he’ll be treated upon his release.
“I’m nervous just about how I’ll be received by the public. I still have to work. I still have to live. I have to exist out there and it just seems like there is so much hate and negativity toward me.”