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Former Colorado WR Rae Carruth released from prison

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Carruth served a minimum 19-year sentence for the 1999 shooting death of girlfriend Cherica Adams.

Rae Carruth

Former Colorado Buffaloes and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was released from prison after serving an 19-year sentence for his role in the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams.

Carruth, 44, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in 2001 and was sentenced to 18-to-24 years. He was released from the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina just after 8 a.m. ET on Monday. Carruth refused to talk to reporters gathered outside of the prison before leaving in a white SUV.

He will be a on a nine-month post-release program, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Jerry Higgins. Carruth would need special permission from a case officer to leave the state or the country during that span, but is free to go wherever he pleases after nine months.

After leaving Colorado, Carruth was a first round pick for Carolina (No. 27 overall) in the 1997 NFL Draft. He still holds 13 CU records including yards per reception (1996: 20.7 avg.).

Chancellor Lee Adams, Carruth’s son, is now 18 years old. Chancellor Lee, who has cerebral palsy, survived the shooting while in his mother’s womb, but a loss of blood and oxygen the night of his birth caused permanent brain damage. Saundra Adams, Cherica’s mother, has raised her grandson since his birth.

Carruth has repeatedly said he wants to have a relationship with his son. Saundra Adams had previously said she would be there when Carruth got out of prison, but she was not present Monday.

Last week, Carruth told WSOC-TV in Charlotte in a telephone interview, “I just truly want to be forgiven.’’

He went on to say he was “somewhat frightened’’ about his release, adding that “I’m nervous just about how I’ll be received by the public. I still have to work. I still have to live. I have to exist out there and it just seems like there is so much hate and negativity toward me.”