Former NFL star released from jail after 18 years

Former Carolina Panthers Receiver Rae Carruth Will Be Released From Prison After 18 Years For The Shooting Death Of His Pregnant Girlfriend, Cherica Adams

Former Carolina Panthers Receiver Rae Carruth Will Be Released From Prison After 18 Years For The Shooting Death Of His Pregnant Girlfriend, Cherica Adams

Carruth, a former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in 2001 after a jury found him guilty of conspiring to murder Cherica Adams. Adams was shot four times by Van Brett Watkins, who was hired by Carruth.

Carruth was found guilty of orchestrating a plot to kill Cherica Adams on November 16, 1999, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to avoid paying child support. He and three others were charged with murder, including Watkins, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Carruth, meanwhile, told the Charlotte Observer in a four-page, 800-word letter that he had become a barber behind bars, earning roughly a dollar per day after cashing game checks averaging almost $40,000 during his playing years in the late 1990s.

We watched Monday morning as Carruth walked out of the Sampson Correctional Institution, smiling, and climbed into a white SUV parked outside.

Former Carolina Panthers Receiver Rae Carruth Will Be Released From Prison After 18 Years For The Shooting Death Of His Pregnant Girlfriend, Cherica Adams

'I still have to work. I'm just going to be honest with you. I'm nervous just about how I'll be received by the public, ' Carruth, now 44, told WSOC-TV on Sunday. Adams, who delivered her son immediately, lived for about a month after the shooting. She died a month later due to complications and severe damage to vital organs from the shooting.

Carruth has never admitted guilt in Adams' murder, but in a complex 15-page letter to CBS affiliate WBTV in Charlotte in February he wrote that "I feel responsible for everything that happened". So that's what I'd want to change.

Adams, 24, was following Carruth in a separate vehicle after a movie when Watkins and Kennedy pulled up beside her. Prosecutors said Carruth used his vehicle to block Adams' auto while Watkins opened fire on her.

In recent interviews, Carruth has been attempting to make amends and says he wants to build a connection with Chancellor. Michael Kennedy, who drove the vehicle, was released from jail in 2011. He said he hoped to, "try to be the father that I should have been from day one", but chose to "no longer be pursuing a relationship with Chancellor and Ms. Adams". "He's a lot more introspective than he used to be, and I think he wants to get out of North Carolina". "I promise to leave them be, which I now see is in everyone's best interest".

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