Carruth trial: Day 25
Ex-girlfriend says she was threatened while pregnant
Updated: Friday January 05, 2001 5:10 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- One of Rae Carruth's former girlfriends testified Friday that he was furious when she became pregnant by him, threatening her and insisting she have an abortion.
Amber Turner said Carruth also joked about killing his oldest son and the child's mother, and fretted about his ability to pay support for the child of Cherica Adams.
Carruth is being tried on charges he arranged to have Adams killed. He could get the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.
Turner, 21, met Carruth in late 1996 in Colorado, where he was in college, and moved with him to Charlotte in the summer of 1997 when he was signed by the Carolina Panthers.
That December, they returned to Colorado for the offseason, where she remained when he went back to Charlotte in the spring of 1998. She became pregnant during a visit to Charlotte, and told Carruth by telephone in May.
She said Carruth, who already had a son by a woman in California, was livid.
"He said, 'I ain't going to have no more kids with someone I ain't going to be with. ...'" she said. "'Don't make me send somebody out there to kill you. You know I'll do it.'"
Turner said Carruth demanded she have an abortion, which she did.
On cross-examination by defense attorney David Rudolf, Turner confirmed that she twice denied that Carruth ever threatened her, once in a magazine interview not long after Carruth was arrested.
The second time occurred at the end of October, when a psychologist for the defense interviewed her. "Rae is not a physical person," she said then. "He never had a problem with anyone."
During their relationship, "Rae was as sweet as could be," she said.
Carruth, 26, is accused of plotting the fatal shooting of Adams, who was eight months pregnant with their son. She was shot in November 1999 and died a month later. The baby survived and lives with Adams' mother.
During the spring 1998 visit, Turner testified, Carruth jokingly discussed arranging the killing of his son in California or the child's mother "so I wouldn't have to pay her any money."
"I heard him on the phone talking to people, saying he had people out in California who would do it for him," she said.
The mother of Carruth's first child, Michelle Williams, testified Friday that she once asked Carruth how she would occupy her time if she brought their child, Rae Samuel, to Charlotte to visit his father.
"He said, 'Don't be surprised if you get into a car accident,'" she said. He later said he was joking, she testified.
During Turner's testimony, she said that two days before Adams was shot, Carruth called Turner and said he had gotten "a stripper girl pregnant" -- a woman Turner later learned was Adams.
He expressed concern "about having to work in a grocery store" in order to pay for the children, because he was injured and unable to play football, Turner said. "I told him, 'Rae, you're smart, you like kids, you'll be all right.'"
The defense claims Adams was killed because Carruth backed out of a drug deal, not because Carruth wanted to get out of paying child support.
Turner also said Carruth wrote her a letter after he was arrested, outlining in detail what he wanted her to tell police.
In the three-page handwritten letter, postmarked Aug. 16, Carruth begins by praising Turner and telling her to drop a boyfriend who was not treating her well.
Then Carruth, in jail awaiting trial, discussed his legal situation and the part in it Turner might play if called by police.
"Here is what you'll recall when asked about my son," he said, numbering her answers in precise detail.
"No. 1, upset I missed the baby being born," Turner read from the note. "No. 2, upset missed first steps, first words ..."
He also suggested telling investigators he did not mind paying child support for his son in California, which Turner said was not true.
"He thought he was paying too much," she said.
On the back of the third page, Carruth added another note: "Talking to police won't help, just hurt," he wrote, asking her also to refrain from talking to the media. "If you love me and want to help me, help me get my freedom back."
Turner was called as a prosecution rebuttal witness.