Nearing the end of an 18-year sentence for conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend, former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth reportedly told the victim’s mother he’s sorry for his actions and announced plans to gain custody of his disabled 18-year-old son after prison.
In a 15-page letter also sent to WBTV, Carruth, 44, told Saundra Adams, the mother of Cherica Adams, that he takes responsibility for Cherica’s 1999 shooting death and expressed interest in getting custody of Chancellor Lee Adams, their 18-year-old son.
(The letter can be read in its entirety below.)
“I’m apologizing for the loss of her daughter. I’m apologizing for the impairment of my son,” Carruth told WBTV. “I feel responsible for everything that happened. And I just want her to know that truly I am sorry for everything.”
According to the station, Cherica–seven months pregnant with Carruth’s child– was driving her BMW when she was shot four times by a gunman Carruth hired. She died a month after the shooting.
Carruth was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in 2001 after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. According to ESPN, the hired gunman, Van Brett Watkins, was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years while Kennedy, the getaway driver, was released in 2011.
While incarcerated, Saundra Adams has cared her grandson. Chancellor Adams was born prematurely and has cerebral palsy and permanent brain damage due to the traumatic nature of his birth.
A first-round draft pick in 1997, police found that Carruth had fatally shot his girlfriend to avoid paying child support. Carruth has only met his son twice while in prison and says he’s kept an eye on him and his progress through media coverage.
In the letter, Carruth also accused Saundra Adams of perpetuating lies about him and the relationship he had with her daughter. For one, he told Saundra that he and Cherica “were practically strangers.” Secondly, he denied that he had Cherica killed for child support, writing that the motive behind the killing had more to do with Cherica refusing to get an abortion.
With his release date set for October 22, Carruth morbidly wrote that he wanted to be Chancellor’s guardian after Saundra, 60, dies and that she needs to be mindful of her own mortality.
“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.”
Saundra responded to Carruth’s comments, telling The Charlotte Observer Monday that she has people in line to take care of her grandson–whose impairments render him unable to live alone–if something were to happen to her.
She said, “What makes him think he’s going to live longer than me? I’m a Christian, and I’m going to live strong and long.”
[Featured Image: Rae Carruth/WBTV; Chancellor Lee Adams/WBTV video screenshot]