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Woman supports Carruth's denial

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The woman who drove Rae Carruth to Tennessee in her car trunk last year told police the football player said he didn't kill Cherica Adams.

Wendy Cole, Carruth's companion during his much-publicized flight, said the former Carolina Panthers player also told her he was praying for Adams to survive and that Adams was the only person who could prove he didn't shoot her.

But Cole also told police Carruth said people were laughing at him because Adams bragged about having his baby. And she recalled him saying he had thought about having Adams attacked early in her pregnancy.

Cole spoke with two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigators Jan. 12, nearly a month after Adams died of four gunshot wounds and Carruth fled Charlotte in the trunk of Cole's car. The Charlotte Observer obtained a copy of the 79-page transcript of Cole's one-hour, 42-minute interview with police.

She could be a key witness for the defense or the prosecution in Carruth's capital murder trial, which on Monday enters the third week of jury selection. Her interview, though ambiguous at key moments, supplies crucial information for both sides.

Cole said a frustrated Carruth told her Adams pressured him about money and boasted about never having to work as a dancer again.

But Cole also said Carruth told her he wasn't involved in Adams' Nov. 16 shooting. Earlier, Carruth even spoke of staying with the topless dancer he had gotten pregnant, according to Cole.

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