Work in Sports
Carruth's attorney says he cooperated with police
Posted: Friday May 26, 2000 02:26 AM
CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth voluntarily provided evidence to detectives investigating his pregnant girlfriend's shooting within hours of being contacted, his lawyer says in contradiction to police statements.
The motion, filed Thursday by defense attorney David Rudolf, offers new details about what Carruth contends he did immediately after Cherica Adams, pregnant with the couple's son, was shot Nov. 16.
Rudolf's motion portrays Carruth as an innocent man who cooperated with investigators, but found himself under scrutiny after police leaked "false and misleading" information to the media.
Carruth talked to investigators before they arrested him on Nov. 25, the motion said, but police told the media he had refused to answer questions about the shooting.
The motion cites a comment by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Darrel Stephens to a reporter Nov. 21: "You obviously wonder why he [Carruth] wouldn't be contributing anything he could to identify the person or persons responsible for the shooting."
The statements by police prejudiced Carruth's right to a fair trial, Rudolf contends.
Rudolf asked for a court hearing to see if any 'state agent or employee' is responsible for pretrial publicity that has harmed Carruth's right to a fair trial.
Stephens declined comment on the court filing Thursday.
"I'm not a lawyer. I'm not a judge. The court can decide if any statement by me or anybody else is prejudicial toward [Carruth] getting a fair trial," he said.
Carruth and three other men are charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.
Hours after Adams gave birth through an emergency Cesarean section, an attorney contacted by the Panthers told a police investigator Carruth was at the hospital.
He told police he wasn't involved in the shooting, the motion said.
Carruth consented to the impoundment and search of his car, to a search of his home and to giving investigators the clothes he was wearing, the motion said. He agreed to ride with investigators, in their car, to his house to let them in and to change his clothing.
After the search of his house, Carruth rode with investigators back to his attorney's office, where he had agreed to give a statement. He was alone with police for three hours, and police reports don't identify "a single question" he refused to answer, the motion said.
Police again questioned Carruth for several hours on Nov. 24 without an attorney present, according to the motion.
Despite that, the motion said, the police on Nov. 25 told reporters that Carruth had "refused to speak to police about the shooting either before or after his arrest."
Carruth's lawyer claims those statements by police left the public with the "misleading and false impression that Mr. Carruth had said nothing to the police."