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Panthers' darkest hour revisited with Rae Carruth's release from prison

this is a discussion within the NFL Community Forum; Rae Carruth, the Carolina Panthers' 1997 first-round pick, was released on Monday from the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina. He had spent 17 years behind bars. Carruth, now 44, was convicted on Jan. 16, 2001, and sentenced to ...

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Old 10-23-2018, 05:50 AM   #1
 
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Panthers' darkest hour revisited with Rae Carruth's release from prison

Rae Carruth, the Carolina Panthers' 1997 first-round pick, was released on Monday from the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina. He had spent 17 years behind bars.

Carruth, now 44, was convicted on Jan. 16, 2001, and sentenced to 18 to 24 years for conspiracy to commit murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams, who died about a month after the shooting. At that time, there had not been any cases of an active first-round NFL draft pick who had been charged and convicted with such a crime.



Carruth's release is a fresh reminder of that day on Nov. 16, 1999, when the plot to kill Adams and her unborn child unfolded on a twisting two-lane road in a posh Charlotte neighborhood. Adams was shot multiple times by Van Brett Watkins, who was hired by Carruth. Watkins was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years.

Chancellor Lee Adams, Carruth's son, is now 18 years old. Chancellor Lee survived the shooting in his mother's womb but a loss of blood and oxygen the night of his birth caused permanent brain damage.

One could argue the tragic shooting by the former Colorado wide receiver was the Panthers' darkest hour, darker than the allegations of sexual and workplace misconduct that recently led founder Jerry Richardson to sell the team to billionaire David Tepper.

Richardson was never charged with or convicted of anything. Even though the NFL fined him after a lengthy investigation, he still was supported by many in the organization and in the city, and the story was in the news cycle only a few months. The Carruth story was the topic of conversation for more than a year and a half.

And, as several pointed out, somebody was murdered.

The city of Charlotte was in the infancy of being a pro sports town in 1999. The Panthers had been around three seasons, and despite the unprecedented success of making the playoffs in their second year and the brief playoff flirtation of the NBA's Hornets, the national spotlight seldom shone here as it did in other markets with two major franchises.

The shooting and the ensuing trial brought CNN and other national news agencies to the city. Court TV broadcast almost every minute of the trial, which Carruth's teammates followed daily in the break room at the stadium.

The trial didn't reach the national scope of the O.J. Simpson case that took place in Los Angeles five years earlier. But it put Charlotte and professional sports in this market in the spotlight at a level it hadn't experienced before.

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Old 10-23-2018, 08:41 AM   #2
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Re: Panthers' darkest hour revisited with Rae Carruth's release from prison

They let this POS out of prison?

Wow.
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