Cherica Adams, the pregnant girlfriend of NFL football player Rae Carruth, who was gunned down in a drive by shooting, will have her case profiled on a new episode of Deadly Sins, the crime documentary on Investigation Discovery. The episode has two titles: “Don’t Make Me Kill You,” and “Don’t Make Me Send Someone To Kill You.”
The case came to the nation’s attention after Rae Carruth was accused of hiring Van Brett Watkins to shoot his pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams in 1999. The case became a media sensation because of the senselessness of the crime and the brutality inflicted upon this innocent pregnant victim. Rae Carruth was a Carolina Panthers-pro athlete at the time, which made the case even more bizarre.
Some Background Info On The Cherica Adams Case
There are conflicting reports about how Cherica and Rae actually met. Some say that Cherica met him in a gentleman’s nightclub where she worked temporarily. Others say they definitely met at the home of fellow Carolina Panther player Ernie Mills, according to The New York Daily News.
In any event, they dated only casually, though Cherica Adams wanted a relationship with him, especially after she became pregnant with his child. People who knew Rae Carruth say he acted like an immature boy when it came to the pregnancy. He felt that Cherica was about to ruin his whole life and career over the baby. Plus, he was involved with another woman with whom he wanted to pursue a more serious relationship. In truth, Rae Carruth had all kinds of women on the side. The two women who stood out at trial were Amber and Candace. Candace was definitely a side girl, while Amber was his main girl.
Rae Carruth had made it clear that he did not want to have this baby with Cherica but then tricked her into going to the movies with him so that he could have her killed. The killer, Van Brett Watkins, a petty criminal and auto detailer, once stated that Carruth saw no other option to end his problem. He wanted Cherica dead — period.
The night Cherica went to meet Rae, she was hopeful that things were actually going to work out this time, and that Rae would finally step up to the plate and take responsibility for his child.
Unfortunately, the opposite was true. He had insisted that she drive her car, which she found odd. Next, for their second date he chose a late night movie “The Bone Collector,” and then insisted on leaving immediately after the movie.
That’s when police say Rae Carruth sat back and watched as Cherica drove down the dark, lonely road until Van Brett Watkins and two other people drove up beside her and began firing a number of shots inside her black BMW. She tried to escape, but Rae had her blocked in. Most likely, she could see him through the rear view mirror as he sat there, doing nothing to help her. Somehow she garnered up the strength to drive her BMW to a resident’s home to call 911. The man inside the home had been too frightened to come out to help, but he also contacted police.
When first responders arrived, Cherica Adams was alive and speaking to them. She was transported to the local hospital, where she was able to write notes about what happened (see: Cherica Adams deathbed notes). She indicated to the nurse that it was Rae Carruth who had set this up. Cherica gave birth to her son, Chancellor, by emergency c-section. Meanwhile, Rae Carruth pretended that he knew nothing about what happened.
At the hospital, he didn’t even ask about Cherica or their baby, something that Cherica’s mother, Saundra, found deeply disturbing. When questioned by police, Carruth stated that he had parted ways with Cherica, and that she had decided to go somewhere else instead. He also stated that he had already arrived at a friend’s home at the time of the shooting.
Police didn’t buy his alibi, and phone records proved that he had been in direct contact with the killers that night. When Cherica died a month later, Carruth fled the area. To make his escape, he hid in the back of a female friend’s car and asked her to drive him out of town. His mother eventually contacted police so that Rae could turn himself in. When they found him, he had over $3,000 on his person and a bottle in the trunk of the car that he used to urinate.
The shooter, Van Brett Watkins, rolled over on Carruth and immediately implicated him as the mastermind behind the death plot. That plea deal saved Watkins from the death penalty.
At Rae Carruth’s Trial
The trial was especially dramatic. Van Brett Watkins put on quite a show. He walked the jurors carefully through the planning of the crime to the execution of Cherica Adams. Jurors and spectators listened eagerly while Watkins described exactly how the shooting took place. His retelling of the crime was so vivid and so detailed — one could hear a pin drop in the courtroom.
Van Brett Watkins was sentenced to 40-years-to-life in prison. Today he is extremely remorseful and apologetic for the crime. Rae Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and sentenced to 18-24 years in prison. He could be granted parole as early as 2018. Today, Cherica Adams’ son Chancellor is a teenager and lives with his grandmother, Saundra Adams.
Tune in and watch the dramatization of the case on Deadly Sins on Investigation Discovery tonight at 9 p.m. central.
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