Saundra Adams’ jaw dropped as she listened to Rae Carruth’s voice echo out from a laptop in the backseat of a WBTV live truck in north Charlotte. The former Carolina Panthers' star wide receiver has spent the last seventeen years of his life behind bars. In 2001, he was convicted of charges related to the murder of Cherica Adams, a 24-year-old who was seven months pregnant with his child. She was driving a BMW along Rea Road in southeast Charlotte when she was shot four times by someone Carruth hired to pull the trigger. Carruth was arrested in December 1999 after Adams died. FBI agents found Carruth hiding in the trunk of a car in the parking lot of a Best Western hotel in Tennessee. He, along with three co-defendants, was charged with murder. In January 2001, Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied dwelling and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child. He was found not guilty of the first-degree murder charge. He was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison and is scheduled to be released this fall. Carruth spoke exclusively to WBTV’s Sarah-Blake Morgan from behind bars, his first public comments since 2001.