CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) â€” Former NFL wide receiver Rae Carruth, accused of masterminding his girlfriend's murder and trying to kill his unborn son, should not be allowed visitation rights, the child's grandmother says.
Carruth's request ``is no more than a desperate attempt on his part to appear to be human and to avoid death row using the very child he has been charged with trying to destroy,'' Billie Ellerbe, an attorney for the grandmother, said in court papers filed Monday.
Ellerbe represents Saundra Adams, who has temporary custody of 5-month-old Chancellor Lee Adams. His mother, Cherica Adams, 24, was shot Nov. 16 while driving in Charlotte. Doctors delivered the baby by emergency Caesarean section. Adams died a month later.
Carruth, 26, and three other men are charged with first-degree murder in Adams' slaying and are being held without bond in the Mecklenburg County jail. All four could face the death penalty if convicted.
Carruth's attorneys last week filed court papers asking that he be permitted ``limited, safe contact'' with Chancellor. The lawyers said Carruth may not stand trial for his former girlfriend's murder for more than a year, and the baby would be more than a year old by the time he might win acquittal.
Prosecutors allege that Carruth, a former first-round pick of the Carolina Panthers, was upset over Adams' pregnancy and already was making support payments for a child in California.
In her court filing, Ellerbe noted that in addition to murder, Carruth is charged with using an instrument with the intent to destroy an unborn child.
``To let (the) defendant anywhere near the minor child before the charges against him are resolved creates a clear and present danger to the life of the minor child,'' Ellerbe's motion said.
Charlotte attorney Bill Diehl, representing Carruth in the custody case, said he would wait until a family court hearing Thursday to respond.
Ellerbe also is asking Judge Yvonne Mims Evans to take possession of Carruth's house and cars to sell them for child support. Carruth's last child support check for $3,000, dated March 8, was returned for insufficient funds, court documents said.
Carruth's mother, Theodry, said she and Carruth's father have sent checks to cover the March child support payment.
``If Chancellor is causing a hardship on Saundra, I'm more than willing to take care of my grandson without child support,'' she said.