Scott Fowler

3 FAQs on the saga of the Adams family and Rae Carruth

Chancellor Lee Adams is a Panthers fan and likes to wear a Carolina Panthers hat. Adams, 16, is the son of former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth and the late Cherica Adams. His tragic birth circumstances caused him to have cerebral palsy. He is being raised by his grandmother, Saundra Adams.
Chancellor Lee Adams is a Panthers fan and likes to wear a Carolina Panthers hat. Adams, 16, is the son of former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth and the late Cherica Adams. His tragic birth circumstances caused him to have cerebral palsy. He is being raised by his grandmother, Saundra Adams. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

My story in Tuesday’s newspaper and online about Chancellor Lee Adams – the 16-year-old son of Cherica Adams and former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth – generated much more response than usual.

To give one example: When I tweet out the first online link to one of my stories on Twitter, it usually is retweeted around 20 times. This one was retweeted 3,686 times.

To recap: Carruth never wanted Chancellor to be born because he didn’t want to pay child support. While still with the Panthers in 1999, Carruth hired a hit man to shoot and kill a pregnant Cherica Adams. Carruth was later sentenced to nearly 19 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.

Cherica died from her injuries a month later, but Chancellor was born by emergency Caesarean section on Nov. 16, 1999. He has special needs because of his cerebral palsy, which occurred because of his tragic birth circumstances. But Chancellor Lee is a happy young man who turned 16 Monday. He is being lovingly raised by Saundra Adams, his maternal grandmother, in Charlotte.

So, to answer the three most common questions from readers:

Q. Rae Carruth is scheduled to get out of jail in less than three years, in October 2018. How is that possible?

A Charlotte jury convicted Carruth of conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and attempting to destroy an unborn child. But it acquitted him of a first-degree murder charge. For those convictions, he received a sentence of not less than 18 years and 11 months. The shooter, Van Brett Watkins, has a projected release date in 2043. While Watkins has apologized to Saundra Adams several times for his crime, Carruth never has.

Q. I could never do what Saundra Adams did and say that I forgive Carruth for his crime and also say that I want him to have a relationship with Chancellor when he gets out of jail. Do you think she’s genuine?

Absolutely. Saundra Adams has a deep faith in God and a deep belief in the power of forgiveness. Here’s what she said in the story about this subject.

“The main reason I want Rae and Chancellor to one day have a relationship is because it is his son,” Adams said. “And that’s why I chose early on that I would forgive Rae. Because I don’t feel like I can offer unconditional love to Chancellor if I don’t forgive Rae. That’s his father. It’s a part of him. Chancellor wouldn’t be who he is without Rae. I want them to bond, or at least to meet again.

“Right now,” she continued, “Rae is still in denial about his part in Cherica’s murder. Not that Chancellor would change that. But if anybody were to ever touch his heart, to make him want to be truthful, I think it would be Chancellor.”

Q. I feel like I want to do something for Saundra and Chancellor Adams. Do they accept donations?

Yes, they do. But there is no charitable fund set up for this purpose, so any donation you made would not be tax deductible. If you feel led to do this, checks can be made out to Saundra Adams and sent to her at: P.O. Box 31, Newell, NC 28126.

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