|Tuesday, January 16|
|CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jurors began deliberating the murder case
against Rae Carruth on Tuesday after a prosecutor said the former
NFL player was a charmer who hid his dark side from almost
That included Cherica Adams, the pregnant girlfriend whose
murder Carruth is accused of arranging, Assistant District Attorney
Gentry Caudill said during closing arguments.
"Rae Carruth can turn on the charm. ... People are drawn to
him," Caudill told jurors. "There's another side to him that I
hope you have seen with the evidence in this case. Cherica saw it
After Caudill spoke, Judge Charles Lamm instructed the jurors,
who received instructions and deliberated for about three hours before breaking for the day. They are scheduled to reconvene at 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Carruth could get the death penalty if convicted
of killing Cherica Adams, 24, who was eight months pregnant with
his child when she was shot four times. She died a month later. The
boy survived and lives with Adams' mother.
Caudill, delivering rebuttal closing arguments following
Monday's closing by defense attorney David Rudolf, spent much of
his time Tuesday defending Amber Turner, a former Carruth
girlfriend who testified that he threatened to kill her when she
became pregnant in 1998 and insisted she have an abortion.
"She has been nothing but the best friend this man ever had,"
Caudill said. "And the abuse heaped on her in this court is
In his closing Monday, Rudolf said investigators demonstrated
"tunnel vision" by targeting Carruth after Adams was shot in
Police wrongly settled on the theory that Carruth arranged a
contract hit on Adams to get out of paying child support, Rudolf
"They weren't looking for information," he said. "They were
looking for confirmation."
He said authorities should have focused on self-incriminating
statements by admitted triggerman and co-defendant Van Brett
Watkins that would have cleared Carruth.
"The shooting of Cherica Adams was in fact an act of senseless,
mindless rage by Van Brett Watkins," he said. "It had nothing to
do with Cherica Adams' pregnancy. It had nothing to do with Rae
Carruth hiring anyone to do anything."
But Caudill said Tuesday that the evidence did not support the
rage theory, put forth by a jailer, Sgt. Shirley Riddle. Riddle
testified that Watkins told her he shot Adams after she made an
obscene gesture, but Caudill said the pattern of shots and other
evidence contradicted that account.
Prosecutors told jurors the 911 call in which the wounded Adams
implicated Carruth was sufficient evidence to return a first-degree
"She's the voice saying to you that Carruth did this, he's
guilty," Caudill said.
The prosecution replayed the 911 call from Nov. 16, 1999, in
which Adams said Carruth's car slowed in front of hers before she
was shot from another car. In notes she wrote from her hospital
bed, Adams said Carruth stopped his car, blocking her vehicle,
rather than slowing.
Rudolf questioned the reliability of the call, saying Adams was
scared, in pain and suffering from severe internal bleeding.|
ALSO SEEClosing arguments heard at Carruth murder trial
ESPN's Lisa Salters and former prosecutor David Keesler report from the Rae Curruth trial.
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