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Carruth Is Found Hiding in Car Trunk in Tennessee

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From Associated Press

Rae Carruth was arrested Wednesday night in western Tennessee, where police found him hiding in the trunk of a friend’s car a day after he failed to surrender on a murder charge in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Authorities said they had received tips that the Carolina Panther wide receiver could be found at a motel at Wildersville, about 100 miles northeast of Memphis, the FBI said.

FBI agents staked out the motel Wednesday afternoon. They checked the room, then found the 5-foot-11, 194-pound player in the trunk of the car parked in the motel’s lot, agents said.

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The car belongs to a woman friend who had registered at the motel. The unidentified woman hadn’t been charged as of Wednesday night, FBI spokeswoman Joanne Morley said.

“He was cooperative during the course of the arrest and processing,” said Victor O’Korn, FBI assistant special agent in charge in Charlotte.

Carruth was being held in the Madison County, Tenn., jail Wednesday night on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. An extradition hearing before a federal magistrate was planned for this morning.

Carruth was charged with first-degree murder following the death Tuesday of 24-year-old Cherica Adams, who was 6 1/2 months’ pregnant when she was shot four times in her car Nov. 16. The shooting forced doctors to perform an emergency delivery.

If convicted, Carruth could be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Adams was shot in the neck and chest from a passing vehicle as she drove through a Charlotte neighborhood.

Carruth was in a car near the shooting, and three other men were in a separate vehicle, talking by cell phone, prosecutors said.

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The condition of the baby, Chancellor Lee Adams, has improved since the shooting. He was moved out of a neonatal intensive care nursery earlier this month.

Carruth, 25, was the Panthers’ first-round draft choice in 1997 out of Colorado. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he is the first active NFL player to face a murder charge.

Carruth and the other men were originally charged with conspiracy, attempted murder and related charges. Carruth was free on $3-million bail on the earlier charges when Adams died.

Michael Eugene Kennedy, 24; Stanley Drew “Boss” Abraham, 19; and William Edward Watkins, 44; were charged with first-degree murder Wednesday and were being held without bail. They were to make their first court appearances today on the murder charge.

Carruth’s mother, Theodry Carruth, had gone on national television Wednesday morning to say her son would turn himself in to authorities when he was ready. She said she had spoken to him by telephone Tuesday.

Investigators did not know if she knew his whereabouts at the time, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police deputy chief Larry Snider said.

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“It’s quite obvious the information the mother was supplying was incorrect. He didn’t turn himself in and he was found hundreds of miles away from Charlotte,” Snider said.

NFL Notes

All-Pro defensive end Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills blamed poor officiating for the strained shoulder that could sideline him this weekend. New York Giant guard Mike Rosenthal threw Smith down and fell on him in the fourth quarter of the Giants’ 19-17 victory on Sunday. Rosenthal wasn’t penalized, but a teammate was called for holding on the play. “The left guard tackled me from behind,” Smith said. “It was a cheap play, but as long as certain officials allow holding and things like that to go on, the consequences are injuries.” . . . Tony Banks, who has flourished as the Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback, was told before the season that he could leave the team if he couldn’t cope with being No. 3 on the depth chart. The Ravens are 4-3 since Banks became the starter in late October. . . . A sprained foot will sideline running back James Stewart of the Jacksonville Jaguars for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. . . . Tight end Eric Green of the New York Jets, signed as a free agent for $7.5 million over four years, was put on injured reserve because of a neck injury. . . . Cornerback Conrad Hamilton of the Giants practiced this week for the first time since he suffered a knee injury in training camp.

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