Former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth is seeking custody of his 18-year-old son, who was born via emergency caesarean section in 1999 while his mother was in a coma after being shot by a gunman hired by Carruth.
Cherica Adams — who was eight months pregnant at the time — died from her injuries a month later, while the baby, Chancellor, survived but suffered permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy due to being without oxygen for 70 minutes before he was born, and Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in 2001.
Having served 17 years in a North Carolina prison, the NFL veteran has now reached out to Adams’ mother in a handwritten 15-page letter apologizing for causing her daughter’s death, Charlotte TV station WBTV reported.
“I’m apologizing for the loss of her daughter. I’m apologizing for the impairment of my son,” Carruth said in the letter for Saundra Adams that was sent to the station. “I feel responsible for everything that happened. And I just want her to know that truly I am sorry for everything.”
Carruth is scheduled to be released from Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina, on Oct. 22, having served his sentence for hiring Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy to murder Adams.
Watkins, who shot Adams four times in a drive-by ambush on Nov. 16, 1999, was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years. After promising to turn himself in if Adams died, Carruth fled while on a $3 million bail and was later found in West Tennessee hiding in the trunk of a car outside a motel.
Despite his cold-hearted crime, Carruth now wants to take 18-year-old Chancellor away from his grandmother when he is released.
“I should be raising my son. His mother should be raising her son,” the former wide receiver said. “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.”
Saundra Adams responded to the prison correspondence by telling the Charlotte Observer on Monday that Carruth will never get custody of his son.
“I’ve forgiven Rae already, but to have any type of relationship with him, there does have to be some repentance,” Adams said. “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.”
Click here to read Carruth’s letters via the WBTV website.