Carruth: Didn't Know Victim Well

Wednesday, February 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Former NFL receiver Rae Carruth says in a televised interview that he and the woman he was convicted of conspiring to kill were little more than sex partners.

``I didn't even know her last name until we went to Lamaze class,'' Carruth said in an interview to air Thursday night on CNN's ``Sports Tonight'' and on CNN/Sports Illustrated.It was the first time Carruth has spoken publicly since his conviction last month.

Carruth, 27, is imprisoned at the Nash Correctional Institution in Nash County, about 40 miles east of Raleigh. He was convicted of conspiring to kill Cherica Adams, who was pregnant with his son when she was fatally shot as she drove along a Charlotte street in November 1999.

The former Carolina Panther was sentenced in January to at least 18 years, 11 months and a maximum of 24 years, 4 months for conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and using an instrument with the intent to destroy an unborn child. He was acquitted of first-degree murder.

While prosecutors portrayed Adams as Carruth's girlfriend, Carruth disputed that.

``As far as Cherica and I are concerned, we never dated,'' Carruth said in the interview. ``We were never boyfriend and girlfriend. ... We slept together. ...There was no conversation.''

Carruth said when the verdict was announced, he looked at attorney David Rudolf and said, ``Dave, they want to kill me.''

Asked why he hid in the trunk of a friend's car when he fled Charlotte after the shooting, Carruth said he felt that everyone was against him.

``Who was going to speak up for me?'' he said. ``You have the guys that did it lying. Cherica was there and she's gone. The media had already said, `This is what happened.' What did I have left?''

Prosecutors said Carruth used his vehicle to block Adams' car so a hired gunman could shoot her. Adams, 24, was shot four times in the attack, which prosecutors said Carruth arranged so he could avoid paying child support.

Adams died a month after the shooting. Her son, delivered by emergency Caesarean section, suffers from cerebral palsy.


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