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Carruth could be extradited Saturday

Adams' family prepares for Saturday morning funeral

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Posted: Friday December 17, 1999 10:38 PM

  Rae Carruth A tip from Rae Carruth's mother helped the FBI make the arrest. Scott Halleran/Allsport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- With Rae Carruth behind bars again, authorities shifted their focus Friday to arranging the accused murderer's return to North Carolina. The victim's family arranged for her funeral.

Federal authorities said late Friday afternoon they were dropping an unlawful flight warrant naming Carruth, captured Wednesday in Wildersville, Tenn., meaning Charlotte-Mecklenburg police can pick him up on a state murder warrant.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Capt. Sean Mulhall said his department first must get clearance to transport Carruth from a Tennessee state judge.

"Even though Mr. Carruth has already said he will not fight extradition in the federal courts, he now has to say the same thing to a state court judge," Mulhall said. Carruth told a judge Thursday he won't resist efforts to return him to Charlotte.

Since it takes at least eight hours to drive from Charlotte to western Tennessee, it likely will be Saturday afternoon at the soonest before Carruth is back behind bars in North Carolina, Mulhall said.

Authorities want to bring the former Carolina Panthers wide receiver back to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg jail to await trial on charges that he led a plot to murder Cherica Adams, his pregnant girlfriend.

Adams, 24, died Tuesday, 28 days after she was struck in the neck and chest by four bullets fired from a passing car as she drove through a south Charlotte neighborhood. Prosecutors have said Carruth was in a car near the shooting, and three other men were in a separate vehicle talking with him by cell phone.

Adams' funeral was scheduled Saturday morning at Victory Christian Center in Charlotte. Adams' relatives planned the service to celebrate her life, said Jay Ferguson, the family's attorney. Burial was planned afterward at a local cemetery.

More than 6 months pregnant, Adams gave birth to a premature boy by Caesarean delivery. The baby, Chancellor, has been steadily improving since.

Carruth and William Edward Watkins, 44, Michael Eugene Kennedy, 24, and Stanley Drew "Boss" Abraham, 19, all face first-degree murder and other charges and are being held without bond. Prosecutors said they intend to seek the death penalty.

Carruth initially was arrested Nov. 25 and then released on a $3 million bond that required him to turn himself in immediately if Adams were to die. When she died, however, Carruth fled, ignoring repeated pleas from family, friends and his lawyer to surrender.

Federal agents found him Wednesday hiding in the trunk of a Toyota sedan in a motel parking lot in western Tennessee.

An affidavit filed with his federal arrest warrant in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn., said the FBI learned of Carruth's whereabouts from someone associated with D&D Bonding Services, the Charlotte company that posted his bond.

Ronnie DeLapp said Carruth's mother, Theodry Carruth, provided information that helped authorities find him, The Charlotte Observer reported Friday.

DeLapp said Theodry Carruth notified him Wednesday afternoon that he should expect a call from a woman named Wendy, who later contacted him and said she was with Carruth.

Authorities identified the woman as Wendy Cole, a Charlotte hairdresser who befriended Carruth shortly after the Panthers made him a first-round draft choice in 1997. She revealed Carruth's hiding place to federal agents when they confronted her. No charges have been filed against her.

Mrs. Carruth said Friday she tipped off the bonding company because she wanted to keep her son from harm.

"I didn't rat out my son. I saved my son's life and I want people to understand that," she told WSOC-TV in an interview at her son's Charlotte home. "I'm not ashamed, I won't walk around with my head down."

Related information
Prosecutors vow to seek death penalty for Carruth
SI's David Fleming: The coward in the trunk
Carruth waives extradition; DA to seek death penalty
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