Rae Carruth #83 of the Carolina Panthers during a NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders on November 2, 1997 at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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Infamous Ex-NFL Star Convicted in Murder of Pregnant Girlfriend Is Now Free

Rae Carruth, 44, was convicted of plotting to kill Cherica Adams during a 1999 shooting.

A little more than a year after O.J. Simpson was freed, another ex-NFL player with links to a high-profile murder has been released from prison.

Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was released from Sampson Correctional Institution in North Carolina on Monday, 17 years after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the fatal shooting of his pregnant girlfriend in 2001.

Carruth, 44, was convicted of plotting to kill Cherica Adams during a November 1999 shooting. Adams, who was carrying Carruth’s son at the time, died about a month later.

That son, Chancellor Lee Adams, now 18, was born with cerebral palsy after being removed from his dying mother’s womb in a desperate attempt to save him. He requires a caregiver.

“I’m excited about just being out of here. I’m nervous just about how I’ll be received by the public,” Carruth told WSOC-TV on Sunday. “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. I’m actually somewhat frightened.”

The man who was hired by Carruth and was actually convicted of pulling the trigger on Adams, Van Brett Watkins, was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years.

The 27th overall pick in the ’99 draft, Carruth was the first active NFL player at the time to be charged and convicted for such a crime.

Read the full story at Yahoo Sports