CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In sitting down to speak with Charlotte attorney Gentry Caudill about Rae Carruth’s imminent release from prison, the former prosecutor made it clear he did not want to discuss his own personal thoughts and feelings regarding the case.
However, he still remembers vividly how the situation played out.
"I mean it was a first-round draft pick with the Panthers. It was terrible crime - an ambush murder of a defenseless unsuspecting young woman carrying a child,” said Caudill about the killing of Cherica Adams.
He served as an assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg County at the time of the trial, but he worked as lead prosecutor on the case. He wasn’t surprised he would be the one heading up the prosecution.
“I had worked with the officers on this case and a number of other homicide cases and they called me sort of for some direction so I felt like I was gonna be in it, began to work on it,” said Caudill.
Cameras were everywhere once the trial began. For several reasons, there was high public interest in the case.
Caudill said he learned to block out the added distractions that came with the trial.
“Every time you move, somebody’s sticking a microphone in your face. You kind of learn how to get that out of your mind and concentrate on your job,” said the attorney.
He said the biggest surprises that arose during the trial were the unexpected calls from witnesses who wanted to share information about their experiences with Carruth. Caudill explained that three different women who had been romantically involved with Carruth contacted the prosecutors.
He said one of the women claimed to have met up with Carruth during the night of the shooting. One of the other women claimed she had been with Carruth while he was in college and he had pressured her into getting an abortion. A third woman claimed Carruth had impregnated her when he was still in high school.
Caudill spoke highly of the Adams family. He said he became very familiar with them during the trial and he recalls one notable memory he has from the end of the court proceedings. He said Saundra Adams, the mother of Cherica Adams, wanted everyone to pray together following Carruth’s sentencing.
"She had us join her in a room out behind the courtroom and had us all join hands and she prayed for everybody involved in the case - for us, Cherica, for Rae Carruth, for (Van Brett) Watkins. She's just a remarkable person," said Caudill.
The former prosecutor currently works as an attorney with Dozier Miller Law Group in Charlotte.