Work in Sports
First in line
Carruth's attorneys hoping to start trial by November 15
Posted: Wednesday May 24, 2000 01:32 AM
CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth wants to be the first of the four people accused of killing Carruth's pregnant girlfriend to face a jury.
Carruth's lawyer, David Rudolf, filed papers in Mecklenburg Superior Court on Tuesday asking that the trial be held on or before Nov. 15 -- one day before the anniversary of Cherica Adams' fatal shooting.
Statements Carruth's co-defendants gave police could taint the jury pool against the former NFL player, Rudolf said in the motion.
James Gronquist, who represents co-defendant Stanley Drew 'Boss' Abraham, said all the defendants would want to be tried first.
"Any evidence used in one trial may be used in another and prejudice the next defendant and so on down the line until all four are tried," Gronquist said.
Capital murder cases in Mecklenburg County can take as much as two years to come to trial because such cases are more complicated and involve higher stakes.
Six months after Carruth was charged on Thanksgiving Day, no trial date has been set.
Carruth has been held without bond since December. A judge has frozen his assets in connection with a child support and custody lawsuit filed against him by Adams' parents. Cherica's mother, Saundra Adams, has temporary custody of the child.
Adams, 24, was shot while driving in south Charlotte. She was pregnant with Carruth's son, Chancellor, and doctors delivered the child by emergency Caesarean.
Carruth and three other men -- Van Brett Watkins, Michael Eugene Kennedy and Abraham - have been charged with her murder.
A lawyer for Watkins declined comment on Rudolf's motion. An attorney for Kennedy couldn't be reached Tuesday.
Rudolf argues in his motion that while Carruth sits in jail, he is being deprived of his right to a speedy trial. His football career and his family -- including Chancellor and a son from a previous relationship in California, Rae -- are suffering, the court motion said.
Carruth "should be given the opportunity to establish his relationship with his new son Chancellor, to get back to his professional career, and to provide for all the members of his family, including his son Rae, as soon as possible," the motion said.
Any professional athlete's career is short and Carruth's opportunity to make money is being lost while he waits for trial, Rudolf's motion states.
Carruth was to earn about $750,000 this year. He "would have likely earned millions of dollars in signing bonus and salary over the next few years," Rudolf's motion said.
In a second motion filed Tuesday, Rudolf asked for a judge to order prosecutors to give defense lawyers evidence in the murder case more quickly.