Former NFL player Rae Carruth has been released from prison after serving close to two decades for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend back in 1999.
The ex-Carolina Panthers wide receiver was released from the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina, Monday morning.
“I’m excited about just being out of here. I’m nervous just about how I’ll be received by the public,” Carruth said during an interview with ABC affiliate WSOC-TV on Sunday. “I still have to work. I still have to live. I have to exist out there and it just seems like there is so much hate and negativity toward me. I’m actually somewhat frightened.”
According to ESPN, Carruth is on a nine-month post-release program, where he needs special permission from a case officer to leave the state or the country during that time.
In 2001, Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to kill Cherica Adams, his pregnant girlfriend. The incident occurred back in November 1999, when Carruth hired Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy to kill Adams. Adams 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’ car while Watkins opened fire on her.
Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, discharging a firearm into occupied property and attempting to destroy an unborn child. He was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison but served 19.
Adams died four weeks later but her son, Chancellor Lee Adams, was born via a cesarean section and had severe injuries. Adams, who is now 18, lives with his grandmother, Saundra Adams. He has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Carruth said that he has apologized to Saundra for the death of her daughter and that he wants “to truly be forgiven.”
Saundra said that she has forgiven Carruth but he will not 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,” she said. “He will never be raised by a stranger — someone he doesn’t know and who tried to kill him.”