TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE TALKS ABOUT THE MURDER OF A PREGNANT WOMAN AND THE ATTEMPTED MURDER ON AN UNBORN BABY!
Tis the season to be jolly and deck the halls. Tis also the season to talk about pieces of shit people. Guys, the one was tough because a baby was involved but is has sort of a happy ending. I don’t really remember this dude from when he played football…. he must not have been that great. Or maybe because he didn’t play for very long before ending up in jail. Just to give you an idea about the kind of person this man is. He was never satisfied with any jersey he wore, he always wanted a different one. Very childish is you ask me.
Rae Theotis Carruth was born Rae Lamar Wiggins (I don’t know why his name was changed because it happened before all of this went down) on January 20, 1974 in Sacramento, California. Carruth attended Valley High School and was accepted to the University of Colorado Boulder on a football scholarship. He played four full seasons with the Buffaloes and was named a first-team-All-American in 1996. He joined the NFL draft in 1997 and was selected in the first round (with their twenty-seventh pick) by the Carolina Panthers. He signed a four-year, $3.7 million deal.
Carruth had a pretty good rookie season, starting in fourteen games. He caught forty- four passes, five hundred forty- five yards, and four touchdown passes. He would miss the 1998 season after breaking his foot in the season opener. Injuries would soon become a recurring theme for Rae. He played the first six games of the 1999 season before getting injured yet again. That’s all I have on his career, I tried to dig around and find more about his NFL adventure but fell flat. I suppose it’s becaused it was very short lived. So, I guess onto his personal life and what you guys always come here to read about.
In June 1998 Carruth attended a pool party where he met Cherica Adams who worked as a real estate agent as well as an exotic dancer. The two would continue to see each other on and off at different gatherings. They were friendly with one another but where in their own relationships. They lost touch until November 1998 when Rae Carruth attended a birthday party for one of his teammates at the strip club where Adams worked. I guess by this time both of their relationships had ended because after seeing each other at the strip club the two started seeing each other. Carruth claimed that their relationship was based solely on sex and Adams knew that Carruth never intended to marry her. The two never spent time together outside of the nights they “hooked up”.
Even though Carruth didn’t want to get serious with Cherica she still expressed that she wanted to have children with him. Now, Rae was already paying child support to his high school sweetheart whom he shared a son with. So, he was like nope don’t want to do that again and told Adams that he did not want more kids under any circumstance. Eventually, Adams did end up becoming pregnant and Carruth asked her to abort the baby. Cherica had already aborted a baby with a man she dated in the past and this weighed heavily on her mind. Cherica Adams told Carruth that she would not abort the baby. Trouble with his finances and his many injuries on his mind Carruth decided that he had to go to more extreme measures to get out of becoming a dad again.
In 1999 Carruth met Van Brett Watkins a security guard at a Charlotte, North Carolina strip club who had started working odd jobs for Rae Carruth. During a conversation with Carruth Watkins has told him that while he was living in New York he had served time and was often in and out of prison. He also told Carruth that he has killed people before…. four people to be exact. After knowing Watkins for few weeks Rae Carruth approached the harden criminal and asked him to beat up Cherica Adams and scare her into getting an abortion. When Carruth asked how much something like that would cost him Van Watkins had a very dark response; “I don’t beat up a girl, I kill people.”. See, after an answer like that most people would walk away and forget the whole thing. Not Mr. Carruth, you see Rae felt like he could work with that option as well.
Soon the two were in talks of a murder for hire plot. Carruth would pay Watkins $3,000 up front and an additional $3,000 once the hit was completed. I know It was 1999 but this dude was willing to kill someone for $6,000!? The life of a woman and child was only worth $6,000 to these two complete incompetent shit heads. I don’t care how much money I am offered I am not killing anyone but $6,000 seems awfully cheap…. what in the actual f***!? Now wait a minute guys! Watkins was hesitant to follow through with the hit because harming or killing a woman and her child didn’t sit too well with him, but he pushed on none the less! Van Watkins would start stalking Cherica Adams in the months leading up to the murder all while Carruth was bouncing around ideas on how to carry out the hit.
Most of the ideas thought up by Carruth were turned down by Watkins. Including an idea that Adams be killed by Rae Carruth was in South Carolina for the Panthers training camp, giving him the perfect alibi. In November 1999 Cherica Adams was now eight months pregnant and Carruth was growing increasingly impatient. The hit was soon planed in a whirlwind and was carried out rather quickly. On November 16th Rae Carruth had planned to take Adams out on a date to the movies in South Charlotte. Van Watkins and local drug dealer Micahel Kennedy (whom Carruth met at a local car parts shop) were invited to Carruth’s house prior to the date. Kennedy was accompanied by his best friend Stanley Abraham, who was also known in the area for dealing drugs. Well, what do ya know? The gangs all here! While speaking with Kennedy at his home Carruth asked for a car that was run down and would not draw attention to himself otherwise known as a “hoopty”. Kennedy allowed Rae to borrow his Nissan Maxima for the evening. How did the conversation even play out? “Hey, I need a real shit car to use tonight.” “Oh don’t worry Rae, you can use mine!”.
Van Watkins did not bring a gun along for the adventure but Michael Kennedy told him he had a friend that would sell a .38 revolver to him. With the gun acquired Watkins, Kennedy, and Abraham drove around aimlessly for hours while Carruth and Adams went on their date. The date ended just before midnight and due to the late hour Rae Carruth told Cherica Adams that he wanted her to spend the night at his place. Adams agreed and the two got into separate cars and began driving towards Carruth’s property. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that they met at the movie theater for the date. Rae Carruth drove in front while Cherica Adams followed him. At some point Michael Kennedy pulled behind Adam’s car and began following her. While traveling down Rae Road in Charlotte they came to a section where the road dipped just before reaching MacAndrew Drive. It was here at this dip where the hit was carried out. Carruth stopped his car in front of Adam’s and Kennedy pulled up beside her, boxing her in. I can only imagine that she already started getting scared at this point, poor thing.
Once Adams was boxed in Watkin’s opened fire on the vehicle, striking Cherica Adams a total of four times. As Rae Carruth sped away from the scene Van Watkin’s had a moment to step out of Kennedy’s vehicle to make sure Adams was dead. But Kennedy quickly pulled away before Watkin’s could step out of the car. While leaving the scene Watkins toyed with the idea of killing Kennedy and Abraham as well to eliminate any witnesses. However, Watkins had somehow already disposed of his spare bullets making the process of eliminating the two men too difficult to be practical. Were those dudes lucky or what? What the men didn’t know was that Cherica Adams was still alive but bleeding profusely. She used a cell phone that had been given to her as a gift by Rae Carruth to dial 911. I will give you a chance to read the transcript of the call now:
911: “911 Baker, do you need Police, Fire, or Medic?”
Adams: “Police, I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot.”
Medic: “Okay, how did this happen?”
Adams: “I was following my baby’s Daddy, Rae Carruth the football player.”
Medic: “So, you think he did it?”
Adams: “He was in the car in front of me and he slowed down and somebody pulled up besides me and did this.”
Medic: “And then, where’d he go?”
Adams: “He just left. I think he did it. I don’t know what to think.”
Adams informed the operator that she was at Wessex Square, had been shot while driving, and was eight months pregnant. She managed to drive her car up and nearby driveway and sounded her horn in distress. Farrell Blalock, who happened to be awake and studying his Bible when the Adams pulled up. He ran out of his home and stayed with her until emergency services arrived approximately twelve minutes later. Cherica Adams was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where her baby was delivered via emergency caesarean section at 1:42 AM, approximately eighty minutes after the shooting occurred. Cherica regained consciousness about seven hours after giving birth and used a notepad to communicate with Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department homicide detective Darrell Price and sergeant Tom Athey. When asked if Rae Carruth was involved in the shooting Adams responded by writing a question mark.
After a period of questioning Cherica Adams slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness again. She never got a chance to see the baby boy she so desperately wanted. While his Mother’s condition deteriorated the baby, named Chancellor Lee Adams was starting to improve despite suffering permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy that was a result of being without oxygen for almost seventy minutes before he was born. During this time police were able to track down Michael Kennedy who soon flipped on the other men. Van Brett Watkins was soon arrested after Kennedy told police where they could find him. On Thanksgiving Day Rae Carruth was arrested by police in connection to the shooting. Carruth was able to post a $3 million bail, with several conditions: He was not to leave Mecklenberg County, and he was to turn himself in if either Cherica Adams or Chancellor Lee died.
On December 14, 1999, at approximately 12:43 PM, Cherica Adams died after spending nearly a month in a coma, she was only twenty-four years old. So, as promised Rae Carruth turned himself into police after learning that Adams passed away. Oh, get real! The dude was facing first degree murder charges, he hauled ass and left North Carolina! Carruth convinced acquaintance, Wendy Cole, to take him back to California when she moved there to attend cosmetology school. At first, I was thinking maybe Wendy didn’t really know what was going on and just thought Carruth wanted a ride to Cali to see his family. BUT GUYS, HE HID IN THE TRUNK OF HER CAR! HE WAS RIDING IN THE TRUNK! A tip was received from Rae Carruth’s Mom that her son was staying at a Best Western hotel in Wildersville, Tennessee. The Mom only snitched because she was in fear for her son’s life.
Once they reached the Best Western the FBI worked on getting Wendy Cole to a safe location and out of harm’s way on the off chance that Carruth was armed. Cole told the agents that Carruth was in the trunk. He was ordered to surrender as soon as the trunk was popped. It was actually rather boring. The trunk was popped and Carruth surrendered. At this point though he had been in the fetal position in Cole’s trunk for hours on end and was too numb to try and escape. By the time Carruth made it back to North Carolina he was no longer a member of the Carolina Panthers. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue also suspended Carruth from the NFL indefinitely.
The start of the new millennium saw the most high-profile case in Charlotte, North Carolina history. As well as in the history of the NFL, not counting the infamous murder trial of O.J Simpson (that happened five years prior), since Carruth was an active player in the NFL when his crime was committed. As of now, I think Aaron Hernandez holds the spot of most high-profile case in NFL history. With his whirlwind criminal media coverage starting in 2013 and ending with his tragic murder in 2017. That is all a story for another day. I think that is the second time I have mentioned this in unrelated articles…. can you guys guess I’m itching to tell you all about it? Rae Carruth’s defense attorney David Rudolf built his case around the fact that Carruth had nothing to do with the planning of shooting Cherica Adams and just happened to get caught in middle of a drug deal gone bad with Van Watkins.
I’m pretty sure Rudolf pulled this defense right out of his ass. Like he shit it out the morning the trial started. The theory of the defense revolved around the idea that Carruth and Watkins had a falling out over Carruth’s backing out a drug deal that he was supposed to finance. That idea, however, did not hold water after Kennedy testified, claiming that Carruth had commissioned Watkins for the hit and that he further had threatened to kill Kennedy if he did not assist with the plot. Testimony was given by Candace Smith, a stripper who had an affair with Carruth, Michelle Wright, the mother of Carruth’s first child, and Amber Smith, Carruth’s former girlfriend how had aborted a child that she shared with Carruth. Several members of the Carolina Panthers showed up to court and testified on Carruth’s behalf: Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, fullback William Floyd, and linebacker Hannibal Navies. Those names mean nothing to me…I have never heard of these guys.
Finally, Van Brett Watkins took the stand and gave the most compelling testimony of them all. He told the courtroom that over the course of two days Rae Carruth had hired him to kill Cherica Adams, he maintained this story during cross examination. Rae Carruth never took this stand on his own behalf. On January 19, 2001, the trial came to a conclusion and Carruth’s fate was sealed. Damn, I was just a few weeks shy of turning twelve when this trial ended and now, I’m staring directly into the eyes of age thirty-two. It’s creeping up on me like a bad omen. How does that happen!? One minute you are twelve and the next thing you know…BOOM you’re thirty-two, but I digress. Rae Carruth was found guilty of discharging a firearm into occupied property, of conspiracy to commit murder, and using an instrument with intent to destroy an unborn child – But not guilty of first-degree murder. He was ultimately spared the death penalty because of this.
In January 2001 Carruth was sentenced to a period of no less than 18 years and 11 months and no more than 24 years and four months in prison. He was given time served for the thirteen months he spent in prison following December 1999. Michael Kennedy was sentence to eleven years in prison, he served his full sentence and was released in 2011. Stanley Abraham was sentenced to two years in prison, and was released before serving his full time. Van Brett Watkins was sentenced to a minimum of forty years, five months and a maximum of fifty years in prison for the shooting of Cherica Adams. He is set to be released from prison in 2046.
Chancellor Adams was being raised and currently lives with Cherica’s mom, Saundra Adams. He is by all accounts a happy and independent young man, who looks just like the Mom who loved him so much. Raw Carruth was released from prison October 22, 2018 after serving nearly nineteen years. Shortly before his release he wrote a letter to Saundra apologizing for having Cherica killed. Well that just makes everything all better. Guess it is all water under the bridge now. Saundra never replied to Rae’s letter and has never tried to reach out to him in any other way.
Rae Carruth has tried to reach out to his son on numerous occasions. During interviews he has expressed wanting to have a relationship with the child he went to such extreme measures to get rid of. In 2019, Adams received an anonymous check for several thousand dollars designated for Chancellor. There was no note. There was no return address. There was no phone call. A note from a court official showed Carruth had sent the money. Saundra Adams has said she is not sure what the future will hold for Rae and her grandson. I personally would have sentenced Rae Carruth to life in prison, but I’m not a judge, now am I? On the first day of Christmas Nikki gave to me…a story about a shitty person. Thank you for all your support this year with my blog. It is something I truly enjoy working on and sharing with you all. Whatever you are celebrating this holiday season I hope you get to celebrate it with the ones you love. So, Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, or Happy whatever you are celebrating this season. Peace, love, and morbid stories.
Time of Events – 247 Sports
Rae Carruth – The New York Times
Rae Carruth Case: Life After Death – ESPN