Carruth Ex Defends Testimony

An ex-girlfriend of Rae Carruth said Thursday that anger and jealousy were not her motivation for testifying against the former NFL player in his murder trial.

Defense attorney David Rudolf tried several times to get Candace Smith to say she felt scorned by Carruth, but she insisted she didn't.

She described one run-in with victim Cherica Adams at a restaurant and said she was upset afterward with Adams, but not with Carruth.

"I didn't tell him I was mad at him, but I didn't talk to him," Smith told Rudolf.

Smith was on the stand for a second day testifying against Carruth, 26, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Adams, 24. He could be executed if convicted.

Court adjourned with Smith still under questioning. Testimony is scheduled to resume Monday. There is no court session Friday because of a personal conflict for Rudolf.

Before court adjourned, Smith said she asked Carruth if he had unprotected sex with Adams. Smith said she was concerned because she also had unprotected sex with Carruth.

Adams, who was eight months pregnant, was shot Nov. 16, 1999, and died a month later. Her son, delivered shortly after the shooting, is in her mother's custody.

On Wednesday, Smith gave some of the most devastating testimony against Carruth, telling jurors he admitted to her that he planned to kill Adams. She said she waited until June to tell authorities about the admission because she was afraid.

Rudolf asked why she left some details out of early statements to her lawyers. Smith said it took time to recall all details, but she realized she "had nothing else to do but tell the truth, the whole truth."

Smith testified Thursday that she had several run-ins with Adams. Asked by Rudolf to describe their relationship, Smith said: "We had some words and never spoke again."

She acknowledged that, during one fight, she became so angry she threatened to beat up Adams.

"I said I would beat her ... if she didn't get out of my face," she said.

That run-in occurred Aug. 20, 1999, in a Charlotte restaurant where Smith and Carruth were eating dinner. Adams and a girlfriend came into the restaurant and demanded that Carruth go outside.

Smith said she waited about 30 minutes, then went outside after them.

"I asked Rae to come back inside and have dinner," Smith testified. "He was being rude."

About a week later, Smith said she pushed her date, Charles Shackleford, a one-time member of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, away from Adams at a rap concert in Charlotte.

"I told him I wasn't talking to her," she said.

The defense attorney kept up his efforts to show the jury that Smith had reasons for coming forward to testify. He went through phone records to illustrate how often she called Carruth at a ime when she said they were no longer dating.

At one point, Smith said she carried a box cutting knife in her pants pocket when she went to Carruth's house to see if Adams was there. She said the blade was intended for self-defense, but doubted it would have been effective because it was broken.

Rudolf also delved into Smith's feelings for Carruth and whether she was angry about his relationship with Adams. Smith said she had been upset that her relationship with Carruth cooled in the summer of 1999, but wasn't angry.

Witnesses have testified that Adams was shot while her car was stopped behind Carruth's. Van Brett Watkins has pleaded guilty to shooting her and is to testify against Carruth, whose lawyers claim Watkins acted on his own because he was angry at the couple over a foiled drug deal.

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