Former Carolina Panthers receiver Rae Carruth is now speaking out on the murder of his pregnant girlfriend nearly 20 years ago.
Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in 2001 for hiring hitmen to kill Cherica Adams. She was shot four times in the car she was driving as she was following Carruth home after a night at the movies. Their son, Chancellor, was born with cerebral palsy because of the shooting.
“He intended that child never come into this world,” prosecutor Gentry Caudill told jurors during closing arguments. “I ask you to hold him responsible for what he did, for what Cherica saw him do.”
Carruth was sentenced to nearly 19 years in prison.
And now he’s criticizing the grandmother who has been raising his son, Saundra Adams. In a 15-page open letter to WBTV, he says that although it’s been heart-wrenching to see Chancellor “endure, thrive and overachieve in her care,” he accused Adams of telling lies about him.
“I’m actually in awe of the way that you manage to come up with a new detrimental fact or statement about me year after year.”
Carruth complains that Adams has wrongly claimed that he's never apologized or taken responsibility.
"And this by far is the biggest falsehood that you continue to sell," Carruth writes.
He goes on to say that he has written to her and that "on more than one occasion, I included an apology to you for this entire sordid situation."
"Ms Adams, I want to sincerely apologize to you for the senseless act that led to the death of your daughter Cherica and the permanent physical difficulties that Chancellor has to suffer through...Having had time to look back and ponder on how the events of that night unfolded, I want you to know that I take full responsibility for everything. I could have done a better job of keeping Cherica and Chancellor out of harm's way, and it's something that will definitely weigh on me for the rest of my life."
Carruth says he expects backlash for writing the letter, but that he wanted to set the record straight.
"And at some point, everything done in the dark really does come to light," writes Carruth. "# (hashtag) Sunglasses Ms. Adams."
Tommy Tomlinson of WFAE’s SouthBound podcast covered the 2001 trial for the Charlotte Observer. He told WFAE’s Mark Rumsey that the Carruth trial “was sort of our OJ Simpson case.”
Tomlinson recalled the many former girlfriends of Carruth’s who testified.
Most were prosecution witnesses. Tomlinson says one woman testified that Carruth demanded she get an abortion, and that he threatened to kill her when she refused.
Then her mother testified for the defense.
“She came up and sat at the witness stand and mouthed to him, ‘I love you.’ “That just told me something about the raw power he had in his attraction to women,” Tomlinson says.