Ex-NFL player Rae Carruth to be released from prison

Former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth released from prison after serving 18 years in murder plot

Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth, who in 2001 was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder of his pregnant girlfriend, was released just after 8 a.m. ET on Monday from the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina. Adams, who delivered her son immediately, lived for about a month after the shooting and it was her powerful 911 call, in which she named Carruth as being involved, that helped lead to his conviction. He will turn 19 next month and has been raised by Cherica Adams' mother, Saundra.

Watkins will be in prison until at least 2046 and he told a Charlotte Observer reporter that he had previously committed four murders in other cities but didn't disclose specifics. "I'm nervous just about how I'll be received by the public", Carruth said in an phone interview with WSOC-TV.

The 44-year-old Carruth was originally sentenced to 18 to 24 years in 2001, after authorities said he hired Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy to kill Adams.

'I'm excited about just being out of here.

'I still have to work.

Carruth also wrote about wanting to establish a relationship with Chancellor Adams, saying that once Saundra Adams has passed away that someone will need to be responsible for him.

Officials say Carruth and Adams got in separate cars after a movie date and once they got on the road, he blocked her vehicle so the gunman could have a clean shot. Prosecutors said Carruth used his vehicle to block Adams' auto so a hired gunman could shoot her.

Carruth's arrest on charges of conspiracy and attempted murder nine days after the shooting sent shockwaves throughout the Panthers organization.

Rae was in the third year of a promising National Football League career at the time of his crime, and boasted a net worth of approximately $368,000.

Panthers center Frank Garcia played with Carruth for more than two seasons. While he was acquitted of first-degree murder, his involvement with the crime was indubitable.

Garcia said Carruth was a little shy, and mostly kept to himself.

It was a hard time in Panthers history.

His lawyer, David Rudolf, told WRAL, that, "Rae was hanging out with people he should not have been hanging out with" at the time of Adams's killing. "You just wanted to stay low and not be involved. How is somebody capable of this?'"

Carruth has publicly said he wants to return to California, where his family lives.

That's a far cry from the four-year, $US3.7 million contract Carruth signed with the Panthers after being drafted - although he never collected all of that money since he was released in the third year of his deal.

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