Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was released from prison Monday after serving nearly 19 years in jail for conspiring to kill Cherica Adams, his girlfriend who was eight months pregnant with their child.
Carruth did not speak with reporters as he exited the Sampson Correctional Institution in North Carolina. He was originally sentenced to between 18 and 24 years in prison for his involvement in the murder.
Adams died a month after being shot four times in a drive-by shooting Carruth orchestrated in 1999. Their child survived after an emergency caesarean section but was born with permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy because of the shooting.
"I'm apologizing for the loss of her daughter. I'm apologizing for the impairment of my son," Carruth told WBTV. "I feel responsible for everything that happened. And I just want her to know that truly I am sorry for everything."
Carruth addressed Adams' mother in a 15-page letter earlier this year. Saundra Adams has raised her grandson during Carruth's incarceration. The child is now 18.
Carruth has expressed an interest in caring for his son upon his release.
"I should be raising my son. His mother should be raising her son," Carruth said. "Ms. Adams should not be doing this and I want that responsibility back.
"I feel like he might not ever have his mother in his life but he could still have me and I could still make a difference and I don't think that's anyone's responsibility when I'm still here."
Carruth will be under a nine-month supervision period in which he will have to check in periodically with law enforcement.