Civil Suit in Football Player’s Unborn Victims Suit Will Proceed

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Suit Proceeds Against NFL Star Who Killed Pregnant Girlfriend

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 10, 2003

Charlotte, NC ( — He arranged for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend because she refused to have an abortion. Now in prison for his role in the killing, former NFL player Rae Carruth plans not to contest a civil lawsuit filed against him.

Carruth originally denied the allegations in the wrongful death suit, but has changed his mind and intends to withdraw the denial.

That means Carruth will default on the lawsuit and a monetary judgment will be entered against him.

Defense attorney Chris Fialko said Carruth’s decision doesn’t mean his admitting wrongdoing in the killing of Cherica Adams’ death.

"By no means is Rae admitting guilt," Fialko told the Charlotte Observer. "Rae has decided not to contest the civil complaint, and withdrawing his answers was the best mechanism to do that."

Saundra Adams, Cherica’s mother, said she viewed the decision as an admission of guilty. "My daughter said he was guilty," she said.

Carruth is in prison until October 2018, although he is appealing his conviction.

Saundra sued Carruth and three other men and is seeking $444,000 in damages, medical expenses, and burial fees.

Lawyers involved in the criminal case don’t expect Saundra Adams to get much money should she win the civil case. Three of the four men convicted in the shooting are in prison.

Carruth, 27, was acquitted in January of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting. A jury convicted the former football player of conspiring to murder Adams, shooting into her vehicle and using a gun to try to kill her unborn child.

Carruth didn’t want to pay child support and Cherica refused to have an abortion.

Adams, 24, was eight months pregnant with Carruth’s baby when she was shot. Doctors saved her baby, Chancellor, in an emergency Caesarean section, but Adams died on Dec. 14, 1999.

Chancellor has cerebral palsy, and the lawsuit says he will require lifetime medical care.