Is channel 9 Eyewitness News 6 o’clock a judge hands down the sentence in the trial of Rae Carruth the child to me was no more than just a circus – who got me into this chief prosecutor Gentry Cordell told me that he lost 10 pounds during these three months responsible for the acts that he’s done there’s a judgment.
Of the court that the defendant being present for pay is not less than one hundred ninety six months at least 18 years in prison that was the sentence for Ray Caruth.
Have been death Carruth never spoke in open court and never took the stand to share his side of the story mark Becker takes us behind the testimony the tension and the verdict exactly one year and four days after serega Adams was shot prosecutors would begin to make their case to a jury that the man behind her murder was her boyfriend Rae Carruth and their first witness would be sharika herself in an agonizing call to 911 trembling with fear and pain Adams pointed clearly to Carruth and.
It happened she was hanging on for dear.
Life trying to save her life and that.
Of her babies Gentry cardio led the prosecution team that would show jurors the word sharika had scrawled on a pad of paper at the hospital describing how Carruth had stopped his car in front of.
Hers blocking her while another car pulled up and the shooting started it was chilling testimony from the grave but prosecutors knew they would need more but we had valid concerns about the immiscibility of those statements.
And the statement the 9-1-1 did not put him actually at the scene at the time so it’s the trial approached we we’re ready to go with what we had but we still know we.
Were in bad need of testimony from co-defendant getting nowhere with time running out it offered plea deals to all three of Carew’s co-defendants only one agreed the man who’d fired those fatal shots van Brett Watkins so we finally made the hard decision to accept plead guilty to all the charges secondary murder and the other charges from van Brett Watkins and use him as a witness Watkins figured to be the prosecution’s star witness but he was far from the perfect witness.
He’d flashed a violent temper with police and.
Their interviews he got combative to the.
Pole he stood up like he wanted them to have a physical confrontation with and on the witness stand prosecutors knew he could be a wild call but just as the trial was beginning they got a.
Break during the jury selection a surprise development occurred when Kennedy’s attorney came to us and said that Kennedy wanted the truth to come out and he was willing to testify without right Kennedy was Michael.
Kennedy the 24 year old who’d admitted he was driving the car Watkins was in when he fired the fatal.
Shots with his attorneys blessing Kennedy agreed to testify without a plea deal and he told the jury why Carruth wanted sharika out of the way she was trying to juice him for money and he was already paying like almost $5,000 in child support and he also put Carruth at the murder scene we went over a heel and.
Did down in the deal then he stopped his car she stopped behind he is I stopped behind her then Watkins told me to pull up beside her car so I pulled up beside her car and he started shooting at her car Kennedy’s testimony was powerful but Carosa attorney David Rudolph would have an answer he was simply covering up.
His own drug dealing so he had to he had to come up with some.
Explanation of why he happened to be driving the car and that explanation Rudolph would argue was that Rae Carruth was in fact the real target of the shooting that night because he’d backed out of a drug deal with Kennedy and Watkins and was afraid did ray.
See them pull up next to sharika yeah did race stop no rate took off because Ray was afraid that Watkins was after to make his case Rudolph chose not to put Carruth on the stand instead he called two unlikely witnesses a sergeant at the Mecklenburg County Jail who said van Brett Watkins had told her about the drug deal going back but it was Ray’s fault if he had just given us the money none of this would have happened but it.
Was Watkins himself who would be the cornerstone of Carruth defense van Brett Watkins is a psychopath a sociopath Rudolph knew that courting Watkins on the stand would be a risky move but.
He also knew that if he wasn’t the perfect witness Watkins could also be the perfect villain if I once shot for most shots Bam Bam Bam Bam Watkins appeared cold almost heartless as he described how he shot.
Eureka that night but as Rudolph pushed and trotted his temper took over of 286 pounds okay I would rip you like a rag.
Doll why can’t threat was an unforgettable moment and another came when he pointed across the room at Rae Carruth this is DiPaola father too he didn’t stand up I stood up for miles I say I did.
It I did it because he made me do it Watkins Wilde testimony was riveting and it would make a huge impression.
On the jury van Brett Watkins demeanor certainly did influence the jury because he was an inhuman person in the perception of everyone on that jury her Brown is a retired attorney who was one of those jurors and 18 years later Watkins testimony is still fresh in his mind that man was an animal he.
Had no conscience whatsoever finally after dozens of witnesses in two months of testimony prosecutors and Caruso tourney’s made their closing arguments four days later jurors came back with their verdicts in a surprising twist.
They found Carruth guilty of planning sharika Adams murder but not guilty of the murder itself a split decision that.
Left both sides disappointed and puzzled do you recall what you thought when you heard that verdict come down I was.
Surprised was it a loss for you then well as I said I was surprised and disappointed.
I’ll leave that call for someone else did you see it as a win not a.
Jury came back with that not not at the time looking.
Back on it now it’s a win because Rae Carruth is gonna be paroled he’s got the whole rest of his life ahead of him and he could have been on death row in one final irony the men who so wanted to destroy Rae Carruth van Brett Watkins may have saved his life because in the eyes of the jury he became the real monster behind what was a monstrous crime and this was the trial the biggest one Charlotte had ever seen our Glenn counts covered it Glenn you told me for you you’ve seen nothing compared to.
This before or since well Erica there’s no question this was Charlotte’s trial of the century I mean we didn’t have a big top.
It was a circus-like atmosphere we didn’t have a big top but we had a tent city outside with media who came in from all over the country and of course we had a lot of people showing up for the trial you know people.
Who just wanted to be seen and also we had people who just wanted to show up just to say that they were part of it and some of the most intriguing testimony came from the triggerman absolutely van Brett Watkins what a character now I’ve been riding back and forth with him for.
Weeks now he said he would speak with me for this program if we met a list of demands one of those demands buying him a book on prison uprisings of course we weren’t about to do that but in his letters to me we.
Did learn about the anger he still holds for Rae Carruth my supporters wish me to cease doing interviews Watkins wrote but he added I do wish to tell the public a few points of concern this is Watkins in his most recent prison photo he told me an interview with me would be as a rebuttal to Rae Carruth and call him a name we can’t be beat here the last time channel nine spoke.
With van Brett Watkins was back in 2003 he told our Jim Bradley about his conversion to Islam part of being a man is recognizing what you did yeah I did those sins wait on him he said every day.
I think of miss Adams every day I think of Chancellor and every day I think of sharee gadot’s and the wrong did I do it’s also clear that he thinks about Rae Carruth a lot he wrote I detest liars liars are destined for hell fires a similar sentiment to 15 years ago you had a chance to say something a Chancellor what would you say don’t trust your father son in these recent letters Watkins pointed out that he had.
Owned up to what he did writing all I have is my word and I always tell the truth even against myself Watkins now 44 years old has at least another 20 or 30 years before he could ever have.
The chance to face Rae Carruth as a free man again.
I think of my whole life every day so as if there’s a man dying and they say well his whole life flashes in front of them but this occurs for me every day and he wishes one of those moments that still flash by had played out differently if I could change things I said it killed him let me just say that van Brett Watkins was without a doubt the most intimidating man.
I have ever seen my impression was looking into those eyes no fear whatsoever and no regard for human life and by the way by the time he gets out of prison he will be in his mid-70s at the earliest so what about the others involved Michael Kennedy pled guilty to conspiracy and second-degree murder and served 10 and a half years behind bars Stanley Abraham pled.
With a deadly weapon with intent to kill and shooting into occupied property Abraham served three months then was put on probation.