RAE CARRUTH RELEASED AFTER 19 YEARS IN PRISON

Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth took his first steps as a free man in nearly 19 years, leaving the Sampson Correctional Institution after serving his prison sentence for plotting the death of his pregnant girlfriend.

Carruth, 44, wore a black skull cap and black jacket as he emerged from the minimum-security facility. He got into a Chevy Tahoe without talking to the more than 20 news media members assembled nearby. The tires of the white SUV screeched as he left.

Prison officials did not disclose who met Carruth and ferried him away from the facility.

Carruth was convicted in 2001 for conspiracy to commit murder, using an instrument with intent to destroy an unborn child and discharging a firearm into occupied property in the shooting near Carruth’s Charlotte home on Nov. 16, 1999, that led to the death of Cherica Adams.

Chancellor Lee Adams, Carruth’s son whom the hitman testified Carruth wanted dead so he wouldn’t have to pay child support, was born premature and suffers from cerebral palsy.

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