Prisoner dies who killed Rae Carruth’s pregnant lover while she was pregnant


The hitman Van Brett Watkins has died in a North Carolina jail at the age of 63. Watkins always said that former Carolina Panthers receiver Rae Carruth hired him to do one of Charlotte’s most famous crimes.

A spokesman for the N.C. Department of Adult Correction said Sunday night that Watkins died of natural causes. He would have been in jail for at least 22 more years because of his long sentence for killing Cherica Adams and trying to kill her son Chancellor Lee. Watkins was in the hospital on December 3 when he died.

Carruth hired Watkins to kill the woman who was carrying Carruth’s baby and destroy her unborn child. Watkins said this at Carruth’s murder trial in 2000 and again in an interview with The Charlotte Observer from jail in 2018. The state said Carruth didn’t want to pay child support for another child because he already paid child support for a child by a different woman.

The date that Watkins was supposed to be freed was set for 2045. The jury found Carruth guilty of a less serious crime than Watkins. He was released from prison in 2018 after spending about 19 years for plotting to kill Watkins. After he got out of jail, he went to Pennsylvania, but it’s not clear if he still lives there.

Watkins became a Muslim while he was in jail. Before meeting Carruth, he had already been convicted of many crimes. But Watkins later said that Carruth, the Panthers’ first-round draft pick in 1997, had been bothering him for months before he agreed to kill Adams, who was pregnant with Carruth’s child at the time.

Watkins shot five times at Cherica Adams’ car on a dark road in south Charlotte on November 16, 1999. It was a drive-by attack. Adams was badly hurt when four shots hit him. There was still time for her to make a 12-minute “911” call, which saved the life of her unborn child by telling people how to save her. Carruth was driving a different car at the time. He had taken Adams to the movies the night before.

The son of Rae Carruth and Cherica Adams is now 24 years old. His name is Chancellor Lee Adams. He was born with cerebral palsy and has had a hard time because of the problems that came up with his early and messy birth. He did finish high school in Charlotte, though, and his grandma Saundra Adams, who is also Cherica’s mother, has taken care of him all his life. In a phone interview on Monday, Saundra Adams said that she learned about Watkins’ death six days after it happened. This made her feel a lot of different feelings.

When Cherica Adams was hurt in 1999, she didn’t die right away. But four weeks later, on December 14, 1999, at age 24, she died from the injuries she got in the shooting. Her son is the same age now.

In an interview with The Observer in 2018, Watkins said that he was a skilled hitman who had killed four people in other states before he shot Cherica Adams. He did not name any of his other victims, though. At the time of the crime, he was stocky, 6 feet 3 inches tall, and 286 pounds. He was known as “New York” and had already done several crimes before he met Carruth.

In his 2018 talk, Watkins did say that he wasn’t always a criminal.

“I was a Cub Scout,” he revealed. “Every time I did a good thing, I had to turn a little pin.” I had a good start in life. “This is not how I was born.”

Watkins broke the rules more than 50 times while he was in North Carolina prison. He was frequently cited for fighting, abusing drugs, and making threats to hurt prison staff. He was locked up alone for long periods of time.

During the trial, which was shown across the country on TV, Watkins said that Carruth was the mastermind behind the plan. But Carruth, who is now 49 years old, has always denied that he hired Watkins to kill Cherica Adams. He said that Watkins shot her as violent punishment for Carruth backing out of a deal to give Watkins money for a drug deal. Carruth didn’t say anything at his murder trial.

Carruth was found guilty of planning to kill someone by the judges. Watkins was found guilty of second-degree murder, which meant that Carruth was freed from prison more than five years ago, while Watkins died in jail.

During that 2018 Observer interview, Watkins was very angry about Carruth’s upcoming release. At one point, he said, “Rae Carruth will not be forgiven.” “I want him to die.”

Watkins and Cherica’s mother, Saundra Adams, wrote to each other sometimes while they were in jail. Adams wanted the people who killed her daughter to be punished by the law, but she also said many times that she forgave them.

In 2018, she told The Observer about Carruth, “Because if I sit around in unforgiveness, it’s like drinking poison and hoping he’ll die.”

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