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© St. Petersburg Times, published November 23, 2000

Suspect: Carruth at shooting site

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Rae Carruth sat in his car while his pregnant girlfriend was fatally shot a few feet behind him, then drove away, a man charged in the attack testified Wednesday.

Michael Eugene Kennedy, who like Carruth is charged with murder, testified about the shooting of Cherica Adams in November 1999 without a plea agreement.

Van Brett Watkins admitted shooting Adams and agreed to testify against Carruth. Stanley Drew "Boss" Abraham is accused of helping and is charged with murder.

Kennedy said Carruth asked him to take Watkins to pick up a gun and wait for him to call. When Carruth phoned to say he was leaving his home, the men followed Carruth and Adams, who were in separate vehicles.

Carruth, at the time a receiver for the Carolina Panthers, stopped abruptly and Adams stopped behind him, Kennedy testified.

"I pulled behind her, and Watkins told me to pull beside her car," he said. "Then he started shooting at her car."

When the shooting was over, Kennedy said, Carruth turned his car around and left.

Carruth, 26, could be executed if convicted of arranging Adams' shooting. Adams, 24, who was eight months' pregnant, gave birth to a son and died a month later. The boy is in the custody of Adams' mother.

Carruth's lawyers contend Watkins shot Adams because Carruth reneged on a promise to pay for drugs and because Adams made an obscene gesture at Watkins from her car.

BENGALS: Quarterback Akili Smith took the snaps in practice while Scott Mitchell tested his sprained left knee. Mitchell took over for Smith and completed 20 of 38 passes for 236 yards in a 16-13 loss at New England.

BILLS: Cornerback Antoine Winfield will miss the rest of the season recovering from surgery to his right shoulder. With backup Donovan Greer (ankle) questionable, Buffalo signed Ray Hill but is down to cornerbacks Ken Irvin and third-stringer Chris Watson.

BRONCOS: Quarterback Brian Griese, with a separated throwing shoulder, wants to return to the lineup in three weeks, a goal coach Mike Shanahan says is premature.

BROWNS: Cleveland claimed tight end O.J. Santiago off waivers from Dallas and waived wide receiver Damon Dunn. ... Drafted rookie Shaun O'Hara will probably start at center in place of injured Dave Wohlabaugh against Baltimore on Sunday.

CARDINALS: Quarterback Jake Plummer didn't practice and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Giants after bruising his back, ribs and left thumb.

CHARGERS: Strong safety Rodney Harrison, with a strained hamstring, is questionable for Sunday's home game against the Chiefs.

CHIEFS: Quarterback Elvis Grbac sat out practice with a sore index finger on his throwing hand that may keep him out of Sunday's game at San Diego. If he can't play, Warren Moon will start.

DOLPHINS: Linebacker Zach Thomas, out four games with a sprained right ankle, returned to practice, but quarterback Jay Fiedler (separated shoulder and spasms in his back and right arm) and tailback Lamar Smith (strained right hamstring) were on the sideline.

EAGLES: Philadelphia waived running back Amp Lee, who signed Oct. 10 after starter Duce Staley's season-ending foot injury.

JETS: Running back Curtis Martin has a strained buttock and is questionable for Sunday's game with Chicago. RAMS: A day after two surgical pins were removed from his broken finger, quarterback Kurt Warner started throwing. The defending Super Bowl champs are 2-2 without Warner, who broke the little finger of his throwing hand Oct. 22.

REDSKINS: Running back Stephen Davis should play Sunday against Philadelphia with a cracked bone in his right forearm.

BRODIE UPDATE: Former 49ers quarterback John Brodie, 65, who had a stroke last month, was discharged from a San Diego rehabilitation center and will celebrate Thanksgiving at home with his family in La Quinta, Calif.

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