Rae Carruth apologizes for death of pregnant girlfriend, seeks custody of son
25 Jul 1998: Wide receiver Rae Carruth #89 of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the 1998 Carolina Panthers Training Camp at the Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Mandatory Credit: Erik Perel /Allsport

Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth - who's spent the last 17 years in prison for plotting the murder of Cherica Adams, who was pregnant with his child - recently broke his silence in an open letter to the victim's mother.

Carruth wrote a 15-page letter to Saundra Adams, the mother of Cherica, that was sent to WBTV Charlotte. He also spoke at length with the station on the phone, and accepted responsibility for the 1999 incident.

"I feel responsible for everything that happened and I just want her to know that truly I am sorry for everything," Carruth told WBTV. "If I could change anything, I'd change the whole situation. His mother would still be here and I wouldn’t be where I'm at."

The former Panthers first-round pick is scheduled to be released on Oct. 22. He was sentenced to 18-to-24 years in 2001 after being found guilty of hiring Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy to murder Adams.

Adams died a month after the shooting, and her son, Chancellor Lee Adams, was born prematurely as a result. Chancellor was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Saundra Adams raised the child, who is now 18.

Carruth also expressed his intention to attain custody of his son upon his release.

"I should be raising my son." Carruth said. "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."

It may not be that easy. Saundra Adams told The Charlotte Observer on Monday that she would "never" relinquish custody of Chancellor.

"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."

Rae Carruth apologizes for death of pregnant girlfriend, seeks custody of son
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