Carruth trial: Day 13
Panthers' Floyd testifies in defense of ex-teammate
Updated: Wednesday December 13, 2000 8:31 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Former NFL player Rae Carruth always had a smile on his face but did not mingle with people he did not know well, a teammate testified Tuesday in Carruth's murder trial.
"When I think about Rae, if I could just summon up one word, [he's a] fun-loving guy, he loved to tell jokes and crack on somebody, a guy who enjoys life," Carolina Panthers fullback William Floyd testified Tuesday.
But while Carruth was not a loner, "he wasn't the most outgoing guy," said Floyd, who is sidelined with broken ribs.
Floyd's testimony came as the defense presented its second day of testimony. Carruth is charged with first-degree murder, accused of arranging the shooting of his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Earlier Tuesday, defense attorney David Rudolf challenged homicide investigators as he tried to diminish the reliability of the key prosecution witness.
But Floyd's testimony centered on Carruth's character and whether other players ever teased him about dating Adams because she was a stripper. Prosecution witness Candace Smith had testified that the players did tease Carruth.
But Floyd said talk about wives and girlfriends was off-limits in the Panthers' dressing room, to the extent that a player who tried it once suffered a black eye.
Former homicide investigator Tony Rice was the fourth police officer Carruth's attorneys have called to testify as they try to back their theory that Adams was killed in a drug deal that went bad.
Testifying without a plea agreement, co-defendant Michael Eugene Kennedy told jurors Carruth recruited him to be the driver in the attack on Adams. Kennedy said Carruth paid him $100 to buy the gun used in the Nov. 16, 1999, drive-by shooting.
Prosecutors contend Carruth planned Adams' slaying to avoid paying child support.
Rudolf asked Rice whether he traded details about Carruth or the investigation when he interviewed Kennedy about two weeks after the shooting.
"There was an exchange of information between Michael Kennedy and myself," Rice said. "He provided me with some information and I provided him with some information."
Rudolf contended Kennedy simply fed back information he got from police when he said in a Nov. 30, 1999, taped statement that Carruth wanted to get out of paying $5,000 a month in child support to Adams.
During cross-examination by Assistant District Attorney Gentry Caudill, Rice said he never told Kennedy what to say in his statement to police.
Rudolf began presenting the defense case Monday after prosecutors rested the state's case. Prosecutors called more than two dozen witnesses in 12 days of testimony. Rudolf plans to call at least 50 witnesses in the next two or three weeks.
Rudolf opened his case by questioning the actions and motivations of police and prosecutors and by attacking Kennedy's credibility.