CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The most notorious crime in the history of Charlotte sports is about to have its final chapter.
Former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth, who hired a hitman to kill his pregnant girlfriend in 1999, is set to be released from prison on Monday.
Cherica Adams was eight months pregnant with their son when she was shot in a drive-by shooting on Rea Road.
Charlotte Observer's 'Carruth' documentary by Jeff Siner and Matt Walsh
FOX 46 Charlotte’s Robin Kanady interviewed Scott Fowler with the Charlotte Observer Thursday. Fowler has written extensively about Carruth from his NFL career to his crime and the aftermath.
Robin: “Amazingly her son is delivered emergency C-section, is there any doubt in your mind that she saved her son’s life?”
Fowler: “No doubt whatsoever. Cherica’s 9-1-1 call is one of the most haunting things that anyone has heard. She’s moaning in pain but she is so determined to save her child first of all and also herself, was what she was certainly trying to do, but she had been shot four times by this hit man named Van Brett Watkins.”
Robin: “Cherica dies, Rae runs, and then he’s found hiding in a trunk, how cowardly is that?"
Fowler: “The trunk is one part that everyone remembers about this story. He was found in a trunk. He’s caught in a trunk with $4,000 and a ladies handbag and two bottles of urine that he was using. He was in that trunk for about 21 hours straight.
Why did he do it? Fowler says Carruth and his lawyer maintain to this day it was a drug deal gone bad. Carruth backed out, and the suspects came after Cherica for retribution.
The jury didn’t buy that. They agreed with the prosecution—that Carruth didn’t want to pay child support and he wanted Cherica to abort the baby.
That baby, Chancellor Lee Adams, is now almost 19 years old. He suffered severe brain damage when Cherica was shot and has cerebral palsy.
Chancellor’s grandma, Cherica’s mom Saundra Adams, is raising him. She calls him her “miracle child.”
Fowler believes Carruth does want to meet his son one day. Carruth is set to get out of prison on Monday.
It’s unclear who will be at the gate to pick him up. Carruth has family in California, and Fowler thinks that’s where he’ll end up.