Ex-Panthers WR Rae Carruth seeking custody of son, family responds

Former Carolina Panthers receiver Rae Carruth at his 2001 trial. More

Former Carolina Panthers receiver Rae Carruth at his 2001 trial. More

After spending 17 years behind bars for conspiring to kill the mother of his son, former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth has spoken out with a public letter of apology.

Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in 2001 for hiring hitmen to kill Cherica Adams.

In a letter to and later a phone interview with Charlotte television station WBTV this month, Carruth said he "feels responsible" for both the death of Cherica Adams in 1999 and the fact that his son Chancellor Lee Adams was born with cerebral palsy as a result of his mother's gunshot wounds.

In an interview with the Charlotte Observer Monday, Adams said that while she has "forgiven" Carruth he will never get custody of her grandson.

Carrruth said he wants his son to be a part of his life, and that, after his release in October, he plans to go back to California to live a private life.

"In recent years you have openly expressed your willingness to allow me to have a relationship with my son", Carruth writes to Adams. But Carruth is clearly setting the stage for his release in October, and his first steps into freedom after almost 20 years behind bars.

In his letter, Carruth told Adams, "For too long, you've used my silence against me, and for once I feel the need to speak to finally speak up for myself and hopefully put an end to this". Chancellor will be raised either by me or, after I'm gone, by someone else who loves him and who knows him. He was arrested a second time a month later, in December 1999, after Adams died. "I want the incident to never have happened at all".

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And now he's criticizing the grandmother who has been raising his son, Saundra Adams. However, she and Carruth's son, Chancellor Lee Adams, was delivered via emergency caesarean section on the night of the shooting.

But let me back up for a minute, and catch you up on a bit of history.

"But I do welcome a conversation with him", Adams said.

Carruth claims that Adams has done interviews stating that he "never apologized" to her over her daughter's death. He can have some supervised visitation with his son - I am open to that.

Carruth wrote the letter to "force the media and public alike" to start challenging Adams "on the truthfulness of the statements" that she has made about him, "claims of forgiveness" and her "insincerity" concerning Chancellor and Carruth "having a relationship going forward".

Carruth also said that he and Cherica should be raising Chancellor together. I have mixed feelings about him breaking his silence.

"She came up and sat at the witness stand and mouthed to him, 'I love you.' "That just told me something about the raw power he had in his attraction to women", Tomlinson says". His mother would still be here and I wouldn't be where I'm at. "And the number one answer that I had was I didn't have a relationship with God", he said.

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