Former NFL Wide Receiver Rae Carruth and the Murder Conspiracy that Shocked America

Rae Carruth hired someone to kill his pregnant girlfriend. She eventually succumbed to her injuries; the child survived

Megan Ashley


On November 16, 1999, just after midnight in Charlotte, North Carolina, A woman named Cherica Adams called 911 and reported being shot at. During the 911 call, Cherica told the dispatcher that she had been shot and that she was eight months pregnant. When talking to dispatchers, she also revealed that the father of her child was in the car in front of her and had slowed down.

Then another car came up beside her and shot inside the car. Evidence would show later that she had been shot four times in a close-together shot pattern through the driver’s window. Cherica would name the father of her unborn child as Rae Carruth.

Rae Carruth is a former NFL wide receiver. He was a first-round draft pick in the 1997 draft, and the Carolina Panthers picked him up. In his rookie year wearing the number 89, he did well and earned a place on the NFL’s All-Rookie team in 1997. He broke his foot in the opening game of the 1998 season and was out for the rest of the season. He was still actively playing for the Panthers in 1999.

Cherica Adams was twenty-four, a realtor, and she had also worked as an exotic dancer until she got pregnant. The club was where she had met Rae Carruth, and they had started a sexual relationship. They had not been on a date before she had gotten pregnant, and this was one of the first dates they had ever been on. Cherica had always wanted to be a mother; this was her first child.

During the 911 call, Cherica said Rae Carruth had driven away after the shooting, leaving her alone. It took almost ten minutes for the dispatchers and medic to find Cherica.

After being rushed to the hospital, Cherica went into a coma, and medical staff performed an emergency C-section. The child had been without oxygen for seventy minutes. The child, a boy, survived but was born with cerebral palsy due to complications surrounding his birth.

Authorities would quickly tie Rae Carruth to the shooting. Through the investigation into Carruth, they would also get the names of some of the accomplices, forty-four-year-old Van Brett Watkins and twenty-four-year-old Michael Kennedy.