CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Rae Carruth wanted his pregnant girlfriend to have an abortion but she refused before she was killed by an accomplice of the former NFL player, a prosecutor told jurors Monday.
"He wanted her to have an abortion but she was adamant in her refusal. She wanted to have that baby," Assistant District Attorney Gentry Caudill said.
Carruth, a former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly hiring someone to shoot 24-year-old Cherica Adams on Nov. 16, 1999. She was eight months' pregnant with his child when she was shot.
Adams' baby son was delivered by emergency Caesarean section and survived. Adams died a month later.
The prosecutor, who is seeking the death penalty, told jurors that the 26-year-old player and his accomplices laid a trap, with Carruth blocking her car the night of the killing so another man could pull alongside and shoot her.
"When the shooting stops, football hero Rae Carruth drove away and left Cherica Adams and his own son for dead," Caudill said.
The defense opening statement was scheduled after the prosecution. Carruth's attorney has said his client had no violent intentions and didn't have any previous bad relations with girlfriends.
Opening statements, which precede actual presentation of evidence at the trial, came after a month of jury selection.
In a Court TV interview before the statements began, Carruth's mother proclaimed his innocence.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.