Rae Carruth apologizes for murdering girlfriend in 2001

After spending the last 17 years in a North Carolina prison for conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend in 2001, former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth has apologized to the victim’s mother, taking responsibility for the murder, and he hopes to gain custody of his teenage son who was born prematurely and suffered brain damage as a result of the fatal shooting.

Carruth was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison after being found guilty of hiring Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy to murder Cherica Adams, who was 29 weeks pregnant with Carruth’s child at the time. Watkins shot Adams several times and was ultimately sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison while Kennedy, who drove the car, was released in 2011.

Adams died a month after the shooting while her son, Chancellor Lee Adams, has battled a number of challenges from cerebral palsy, which was caused by a traumatic premature birth immediately after the shooting.

‘I’m apologizing for the loss of her daughter,’ Carruth, 44, told WBTV Charlotte from prison. ‘I’m apologizing for the impairment of my son. I feel responsible for everything that happened. And I just want her to know that truly I am sorry for everything.’

Carruth (above in jail in 2003) will be released from prison next year after serving 19 years behind bars 

The 18-year-old has been raised by his grandmother and still wants to have a relationship with his father 

The 18-year-old has been raised by his grandmother and still wants to have a relationship with his father 

Cherica’s mother Saundra Adams has raised Chancellor, now 18. In past interviews with the Charlotte Observer, she has expressed that she would like to be present when Carruth is released on October 22 of this year.

Carruth said he hopes to gain custody of his son.

‘I should be raising my son,’ he told WBTV. ‘His mother should be raising her son. Ms. Adams should not be doing this and I want that responsibility back. I feel like he might not ever have his mother in his life but he could still have me and I could still make a difference and I don’t think that’s anyone’s responsibility when I’m still here.’

Adams was 29 weeks pregnant on November 16, 1999, when she was driving behind Carruth, who was suddenly came to a stop in front of her.

A separate car containing three other men pulled up near her before Watkins fired four shots at the pregnant woman from the backseat.

During their trial, Williams told how Carruth ordered the killing and watched in his rear view mirror as Adams ‘drowned’ on her own blood.

She was able to call 911 herself and was taken to hospital where her son was removed from her womb the night of the shooting.

In her 911 call, she told the operator: ‘I was following my baby’s daddy, Rae Carruth, the football player. He slowed down and a car pulled up beside me.

‘He just left. I think he did it. I don’t know what to think.’

A month later, she died. Chancellor remained under doctors’ care at the time but was later released to live with his grandmother.

Saundra Adams told the Charlotte Observer that she was pleased Carruth was taking responsibility, but she was not going to relinquish custody of her grandson.

‘I’ve forgiven Rae already, but to have any type of relationship with him, there does have to be some repentance,’ Adams said. ‘And I think this opens the door. But I can say definitively he’s not ever going to have custody of Chancellor. Chancellor will be raised either by me or, after I’m gone, by someone else who loves him and who knows him. He will never be raised by a stranger – someone he doesn’t know and who tried to kill him.’

Carruth penned a 15-page letter to Saundra Adams from prison in which he claims that she lied about him. The California native wrote that he did apologize to Saundra Adams, which she denied ever happening.

He also challenged her assertion that his motive behind the murder had to do with paying child support rather than being upset with Cherica for her refusal to get an abortion.

Carruth also claimed he wished he could go back to 1999 and change the past.

‘If I could change anything, I’d change the whole situation,’ he wrote. ‘His mother would still be here and I wouldn’t be where I’m at. So that’s what I’d want to change. I want the incident to never have happened at all.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk