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Rae Carruth’s Attorney, 18 Years Later, Offers New Version of Carruth’s Involvement in Pregnant Girlfriend’s Murder

Former NFL player Rae Carruth is offering a new version of events about the night his pregnant girlfriend was murdered in cold blood, according to his former defense attorney.

Speaking on Carruth’s behalf, David Rudolf now claims the former Carolina Panther wide receiver fled the scene because he was spooked, thinking he was in danger himself just before his girlfriend, Cherica Adams, was shot four times on Nov. 16, 1999, according to The Charlotte Observer. Adams, who was 30 weeks pregnant at the time, was driving behind Carruth in a separate car moments before the shots rang out.

Rae Carruth

Rae Carruth has been serving time for 18 years on charges related to the murder of his then-girlfriend, Cherica Adams. (Images courtesy of WSOC)

Rudolf served as Carruth’s primary defense attorney during his murder trial and said he got permission to share additional details about the shooting from Carruth after a visit to the North Carolina prison where he’s being held. During that visit, Rudolf said Carruth offered up a detail that he’d never heard before.

Carruth, a star wide receiver at the time, says he was actually there moments before the shooting. Then he just “took off,” according to Rudolf. He said Carruth had backed out of a drug deal earlier and was scared someone might be after him.

“Rae was very worried that, in fact, that car that was pulling out was, in fact, not pulling out to pass Cherica,” according to the lawyer. “That car was pulling out, in fact, to do something to him.”

Carruth has spent the past 18 years in prison after being convicted in January 2001 of conspiracy to commit murder — but acquitted of first-degree murder charges — in Adams’ slaying. The jury The young woman, 24, was shot by someone Carruth had hired to pull the trigger, reportedly a ploy to avoid paying child support.

Adams succumbed to her injuries a month later, but their unborn son, Chancellor Lee, survived, thanks to an emergency C-section by doctors. Chancellor was born with cerebral palsy.

“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,” Carruth wrote in a 15-page letter penned to his son’s grandmother, Saundra Adams, earlier this year.

The former NFL star is set to walk free from prison on Oct. 22.

“He was scared, and he took off,” Rudolf said of Carruth’s actions on the night of the deadly shooting. “And he’s not particularly proud of that. It’s not sort of a heroic thing to do — big football player, you know, running. But that’s what he did.”

Saundra Adams, Cherica’s mother, has been critical of Carruth, and it’s unclear whether she’ll let him have a relationship with his son, Chancellor, whom she’s looked after since he was born. She’s also skeptical of Carruth’s latest version of events.

“I don’t believe that,” she told the Observer. “I think it’s another excuse not to be accountable. But none of it is bringing Cherica back.”

Watch more in the clip below.


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