Work in Sports
Protecting his money
Carruth files papers in court to block audit of his assets
Posted: Friday February 18, 2000 08:33 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Rae Carruth's lawyer wants a court to block an independent overseer from liquidating his assets to support the baby of his late girlfriend, whose slaying Carruth is accused of masterminding.
The former NFL player's attorney filed papers in Mecklenburg County Superior Court asking that it eliminate its earlier order naming Charlotte lawyer Elizabeth Hodges to audit Carruth's assets. She also has permission to sell Carruth's Charlotte home to free up child-support money for the baby, Chancellor Lee Adams. Hodges is due to report to the court Feb. 23.
Carruth, a former Carolina Panthers wide receiver, and three co-defendants are charged with first-degree murder for the drive-by shooting of Cherica Adams, 24, on Nov. 16 in Charlotte.
Soon after the shooting, she gave birth to Chancellor, who was 10 weeks premature. Adams died Dec. 14. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against the four.
In the papers filed Thursday, attorney David Rudolf complained that Cherica Adams' parents, Saundra Adams and Jeffrey Moonie, are only prolonging the case with a search for assets that don't exist. Carruth's estimated $480,000 in assets remain frozen pending the outcome of the custody case.
Rudolph said Carruth has agreed to pay $3,000 a month to support Chancellor -- the same amount he is paying for another young son in California.
"Rather than accepting Mr. Carruth's offer [of $3,000] and putting this simple matter to rest until the criminal charges are disposed of, the lawyers for Saundra Adams and Jeffrey Moonie have engaged in a useless, time-consuming and expensive search for assets that do not exist," Rudolf wrote.
"The only people benefiting from this exercise are the lawyers for Adams and Moonie, who have been racking up thousands of dollars in legal fees," he wrote.
Adams' lawyer, Billie Ellerbe, has filed papers asking for nearly $5,000 in legal fees. Moonie's lawyer, Frank Porter, said his law firm has agreed to take Moonie's case for free. Any fees awarded will be donated to a trust fund for Chancellor, Porter said.
In requesting the independent overseer, Moonie's lawyers earlier said Carruth spent more than $260,000 in cash between Adams' shooting Nov. 16 and Feb. 8. They contend an overseer is needed to ensure he fully discloses his assets in the child-support case.
Rudolf said Carruth only spent $20,000 in expenses unrelated to the criminal case between Nov. 16 and the end of 1999.
Carruth's lawyers in the child-support case agreed Monday to Hodges' appointment as overseer. On Tuesday, Carruth fired those lawyers, Kenneth Spaulding of Durham and Tamela Wallace of Charlotte.
Rudolf's motion said the two had urged Carruth to sign the agreement without telling him enough about it.
Spaulding, however, said Carruth signed papers showing he understood the arrangement and was satisfied with his legal representation.