Former NFL player Rae Carruth released from prison after 18 years

Former NFL player Rae Carruth released from prison after 18 years

The former National Football League wide receiver was released from prison Monday after serving more than 18 years for conspiring to murder the mother of his unborn child.

On November 16, 1999, 24-year-old Cherica Adams, who was 8 months pregnant, and Carruth, in his third season with the Panthers, went on a movie date.

In 2003, Adams was awarded almost $5.8 million in damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, but she said she's received hardly any money from that judgment since the four men convicted in the plot have been imprisoned or unemployed since that time.

The child, Chancellor Lee Adams, was born with severe cerebral palsy due to trauma from the shooting.

Carruth's son, Chancellor Adams, survived in Adams' womb but the loss of oxygen and blood caused brain damage.

TMZ initially broke news of the league blocking a Carruth custom jersey, which continues a policy of not allowing controversial figures' names to be planted on a jersey, including a No. 81 Patriots jersey with Aaron Hernandez's name or No. 32 Bills jersey with OJ Simpson's name on it.

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'I still have to work.

Prosecutors claimed that Carruth hired Watkins and two others to kill Adams so that he could avoid paying child support. Jurors found Carruth not guilty of first-degree murder, but jurors later said they would have convicted Carruth on a second-degree charge, had that been brought against him instead.

While in jail, Carruth worked as a barber, making about $1 per hour - a far cry from the four-year, $US3.7 million ($AUD5.2 million) contract he signed with the Panthers after being drafted. He left the prison without speaking to reporters.

Carruth was ultimately convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, attempting to destroy an unborn child and discharging a firearm into occupied property. "I have to exist out there and it just seems like there is so much hate and negativity toward me", he said. Michael Kennedy, who drove the auto, was released from jail in 2011.

Last February, Carruth wrote an open letter to Saundra Adams, apologizing for the death of Cherica Adams and for the difficulties Chancellor Adams has had.

Wherever Rae lives, he will occasionally have to meet with authorities for the next nine months, as part of his release requirements. He would need to get special permission to leave the state or country while participating in the program.

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