Adams due $5.8M but might never collect

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth and three men convicted of conspiring to kill Carruth's girlfriend were ordered Wednesday to pay about $5.8 million in damages to her estate.

Saundra Adams' daughter, Cherica Adams, was eight months pregnant with Carruth's child when she was shot in November 1999. Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims Evans awarded Saundra Adams all the monetary damages sought in the wrongful death lawsuit against Carruth and three other men responsible for the fatal shooting.

All four were found guilty in 2001 of conspiring in the Nov. 16, 1999, shooting. Cherica Adams died about a month later; the baby survived but has cerebral palsy.

But it's unlikely Adams will receive any of the money -- at least in the near future.

Carruth is serving at least 18 years in prison for his role in Cherica Adams' murder. Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy, also convicted for their roles in the slaying, are also in prison. The third co-defendant, Stanley Drew "Boss" Abraham, testified that he is unemployed.

"I'm very pleased with the judgment," Saundra Adams said. "It means when they get out of prison, they will have to pay on this judgment.

"They took my daughter's life. It's only fair that they have a monetary punishment as well as time in prison. I think this brings justice and closure for Cherica, Chancellor and me.

"I may never see the whole $5.7 million. But I'm not saying that's impossible."

Charlotte defense lawyer Chris Fialko, who represents Carruth, would not comment on the monetary award.