After 17 years and 11 months of good behavior, former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth who was sentenced to 18 to 24 years for the murder of his girlfriend and their unborn child in 1997 was released from the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina.
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On November 16th, 1999, Cherica Adams, who was pregnant with their child, was killed by Van Brett Watkins in Charlotte, NC. Watkins had been hired by Carruth after he decided he did not want Adams to have his child. Watkins was sentenced to 40 years. Adams succumbed to her wounds about a month later after being in a coma, but her child survived. Chancellor Lee Adams, who is now 17, suffers from cerebral palsy due to the oxygen and blood loss he suffered while he was in his mother’s womb and is cared for by his grandmother, Saundra Adams.
Now that the 44-year-old disgraced NFL player will be released from prison, he wants the opportunity to be the father he was not able to be to his son. Earlier this year, he told WBTV that he petitioned Adams for visitation and wants custody of his son.
“I let him down as he came into this world and the only way that I can make that right and the only way I can work out my relationship with my son is to be there for him,” he told WBTV in a phone interview. “I should be raising my son. His mother should be raising her son. Ms. Adams should not be doing this and I want that responsibility back. I feel like he might not ever have his mother in his life but he could still have me and I could still make a difference and I don’t think that’s anyone’s responsibility when I’m still here.”
Chancellor will be 18 soon, but with him having cerebral palsy, he will always need someone to care for him. Adams did say that she is open to her grandson building a relationship with Carruth but custody is not up for discussion.
“I’ve forgiven Rae already, but to have any type of relationship with him, there does have to be some repentance,” she told the Charlotte Observer. “And I think this opens the door. But I can say definitively he’s not ever going to have custody of Chancellor. Chancellor will be raised either by me or, after I’m gone, by someone else who loves him and who knows him. He will never be raised by a stranger – someone he doesn’t know and who tried to kill him.”
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