Judge Awards Compensation in Rae Carruth Unborn Victims Case
by Steven Ertelt
October 16, 2003
Charlotte, NC (LifeNews.com) — Cherica Adams was eight-months pregnant with her son Chance when former NFL football player Rae Carruth arranged for his buddies to kill her. On Wednesday, she and her son Chance were given another victory in court as a judge awarded them considerable civil damages.
On Wednesday afternoon, a judge granted Cherica’s mother Saundra Adams $5.8 million for the death of Cherica and Chance’s future medical care.
Carruth arranged to have Cherica Adams killed because she refused to have an abortion and he didn’t want to make child support payments. Chance was born following the shooting, though he will suffer from cerebral palsy the rest of his life and will require medical care and other extra attention.
Compensatory damages total $1.4 million for all four men responsible for the shooting. Carruth and gunman Van Brett Watkins are also responsible for more than $4.3 million in punitive damages.
Saundra said she was surprised that the verdict came down so soon.
Unfortunately, three of the four men are in prison and one is unemployed — making it unlikely that much, if any, of the damages sought will be obtained. Yet, Saundra Adams, Cherica’s mother, said she pushed forward with her lawsuit for "justice and closure."
Saundra’s attorney, Billie Ellerbie, said one of the men should be able to find work and the others will be able to once they are released from prison. Their wages should help Cherica’s son Chance, he said.
Carruth’s criminal conviction remains under appeal, though it has been unsuccessful thus far. The North Carolina Court of Appeals refused to overturn it and the state Supreme Court recently declined to review the appeals court decision.
Van Brett Watkins, who fired the gun that killed Cherica, said he will provide the family with any money possible and will turn down any book deals that would bring him a profit from the case.
Saundra Adams said she has received checks from Watkins and believes he is genuinely remorseful.