Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was released from prison on Monday morning after completing his sentence after a 2001 conviction for conspiracy to commit the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams.
Now 44, the former NFL star was found guilty of masterminding the November 1999 shooting of Adams, who died about a month later in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Carruth had been serving a nearly 19-year sentence at the Sampson Correctional Institution, about 190 miles east of Charlotte, and he did not speak to reporters as he left in a white Chevy truck Monday, the Charlotte Observer reported.
He will be a on a nine-month post-release program, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Jerry Higgins, ESPN reported. He would need special permission from a case officer to leave the state or the country during that span, but is free to go wherever he pleases after nine months.
Adams was eight months pregnant when she was shot in an ambush by hitman Van Brett Watkins, and she went into a coma and died from her injuries a month later.
Chancellor, now 18, was born via emergency caesarean section but suffered permanent brain damage and has cerebral palsy due to being without oxygen for 70 minutes.
Carruth recently fought for custody of his son and battled to take him away from his maternal grandmother.
“I should be raising my son. His mother should be raising her son,” the former wide receiver wrote in a letter from prison earlier this year. “Ms. Adams should not be doing this and I want that responsibility back.”
He later backed down, and in a followup letter to the Observer said: “For all involved or invested in this ordeal, please calm down. I will no longer be pursuing a relationship with Chancellor and Ms. Adams [Chandra’s mom, Saundra]. I promise to leave them be, which I now see is in everyone’s best interest.”