Damning Testimony at Carruth Murder Trial

ByABC News
December 20, 2000, 10:09 AM

C H A R L O T T E, N.C., Dec. 20 -- The man who admitted shooting RaeCarruths pregnant girlfriend testified today that the formerNFL player spent months planning the contract killing of ChericaAdams.

Van Brett Watkins was called by the defense to try to shore upits contention that Watkins shot Adams impulsively and on his own.But thats not the testimony that defense lawyer David Rudolf gotfrom the witness, who said he was afraid of Carruth.

This wasnt about Cherica Adams. It was about your client, Watkins said. This wasnt a one-day affair. It was six months. He dragged me into something I didnt want to be involved in.

Later, Watkins said flatly that Carruth hired him to kill Adams.

He hired me as a hit man, Watkins said. He hired me to kill Cherica Adams and the baby. I couldnt bring myself to killthe baby. I shot at the top [of the car], not through the door.

Watkins Denies Conflicting Statement

Outside court during the lunch break, Rudolf said the jury wasgetting an accurate picture of a violent career criminal who haslied throughout his adult life to try to escape justice.

Hes a lunatic, he said.

Adams was eight months pregnant when she was shot Nov. 16, 1999.She died about a month later, after giving birth to Carruths son,who is in the custody of her mother. Carruth, 26, is accused ofplotting the shooting and could be sentenced to execution ifconvicted of murder.

Watkins insisted he was referring to Carruth, not the dyingAdams, when he told a detention officer in jail he hoped thebitch dies.

He said he was angry because he felt Carruth wouldnt takeresponsibility for his part in the shooting, and explained thegender discrepancy in the slur by saying the insult doubles ifthe word is aimed at a man.

[Carruth] didnt stand up. I stood up for mine, Watkinssaid, pointing his finger at the defendant. He made me do it. Itwas Rae Carruth I was referring to.