CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former Carolina Panthers player Rae
Carruth was denied a request for a new trial in the 1999 shooting
death of his pregnant girlfriend.
Judge Charles C. Lamm Jr. on Monday rejected defense arguments
that a 911 call made by Cherica Adams moments after her shooting
should not have been allowed into evidence at Carruth's 2000 trial.
Lamm's six-page ruling concluded that the tape of the call was
properly introduced and did not violate Carruth's constitutional
right to be able to confront his accuser.
The former wide receiver is serving a sentence of at least 18
years and 11 months at Nash Correctional Institution, about 55
miles from Raleigh.
Adams was eight months pregnant with Carruth's baby when she was
gunned down in a drive-by shooting on Nov. 16, 1999, in Charlotte.
Doctors saved her son, Chancellor, in an emergency Caesarean.
Adams, shot four times, died a month later. As she lay wounded in
her car, Adams called 911 for help and implicated Carruth in the
Carruth was arrested and charged with hiring shooter Van Brett
Watkins and another man, Michael Eugene Kennedy, to get rid of
Adams because he did not want to pay child support for the baby she
In January 2001, a jury found Carruth guilty of conspiring to
murder Adams, shooting into her occupied vehicle and attempting to
kill her unborn child. They acquitted him of a charge of
first-degree murder that could have led to a death sentence.
In their appeal March 11, Carruth's lawyers argued that the
questions a 911 operator asked Adams served to gather information
for police and prosecutors and should not have been allowed into
evidence because it was not possible to cross-examine Adams about
her responses. Lamm, who presided over Carruth's trial, disagreed
in Monday's ruling.
The state appeals court denied Carruth a new trial in 2003 and
the state Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have refused to
hear his case.