Nearly two decades after the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, former NFL player Rae Carruth is finally speaking out — from behind bars.
Carruth, a star wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, has spent the last 17 years of his life in jail after he was convicted on charges related to the murder of 24-year-old Cherica Adams, who was seven months pregnant with their first child, station WBTV reported.
Adams was shot four times by someone Carruth had hired to pull the trigger in November 1999. She succumbed to her injuries one month later, but their child managed to survive, thanks to an emergency C-section by doctors. Carruth’s son, Chancellor Lee, was born suffers from cerebral palsy and has permanent brain damage due to his traumatic birth.
Now, the ex-footballer is asking forgiveness for his transgressions and wants a relationship with his now 18-year-old son. Carruth, 44, is scheduled to be released from prison this fall.
“I let him down as he came into this world and the only way I can make that right, and the only way I can work out my relationship with my son, is to be there for him,” he wrote in a 15-page letter penned to his son’s grandmother, Saundra Adams. “…I wrote this letter and chose to make it public in an effort to openly confront and debunk the lies that Mrs. Adams continues to tell about me.”
According to WBTV, Saundra Adams has been at her grandson’s side since her daughter’s death and has said in past interviews she plans to be at the prison gates with Chancellor, Carruth’s son, when he is released in October. She’s said she is open to the two having a relationship.
Carruth suggested otherwise, however, saying he chose to apologize publicly because he’s written letters to Adams before but received no response. By sending his letter to the TV station, he could apologize once and for all for his role in her daughter’s demise.
“I should be raising my son. His mother should be raising her son,” Carruth wrote. “… Ms. Adams should not be doing this, and I want that responsibility back. I feel like he may not ever have his mother in his life but he could still have me — I could still make a difference and I don’t think that’s anyone’s responsibility when I’m still here.”
He went on to thank Adams for the “unconditional care, compassion, love and support” she’s shown Chancellor over the years in him and his mother’s absence.
When asked what’s the biggest thing he’s learned while in prison, the former player said its that the choices we make don’t just affect us, but our loved ones too. He’s now hoping to make up for his mistakes.
Video of Chancellor with his grandmother. Provided by the Charlotte Observer