Child-Support Case Angers Carruth
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Rae Carruth, accused of masterminding his pregnant girlfriend’s fatal shooting, has filed court papers complaining that her parents are drawing out a child-support case involving the victim’s baby.
The papers filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court on Thursday said Cherica Adams’ parents were prolonging the dispute with a search for assets that don’t exist.
In the papers, David Rudolf asked for an immediate hearing in the child-support case Saundra Adams and Jeffrey Moonie have filed against Carruth.
Carruth and three co-defendants are charged with first-degree murder for the drive-by shooting of Adams, 24, on Nov. 16 in Charlotte.
Soon after the shooting, she gave birth to Chancellor Adams, who was 10 weeks premature. Adams died Dec. 14. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against the four.
Rudolph asked the court to eliminate an earlier order calling for an independent overseer to liquidate Carruth’s assets. The overseer, Charlotte lawyer Elizabeth Hodges, is due to report to the court Feb. 23. She has authority to help sell Carruth’s south Charlotte home and audit other assets to free up child-support money for Chancellor.
Rudolph said Carruth has agreed to pay $3,000 a month in child support for Chancellor. He is paying the same amount for another young son in California.
``Rather than accepting Mr. Carruth’s offer (of $3,000) and putting this simple matter to rest until the criminal charges are disposed of, the lawyers for Saundra Adams and Jeffrey Moonie have engaged in a useless, time-consuming and expensive search for assets that do not exist,″ Rudolf wrote.
Adams’ lawyer, Billie Ellerbe, has filed papers asking for nearly $5,000 in legal fees. Moonie’s lawyer, Frank Porter, said his law firm has agreed to take Moonie’s case for free. He said any fees awarded will be donated to a trust fund for Chancellor.
That information already has been disclosed in court documents in the case, he said. ``Mr. Rudolf should have looked at the discovery documents that were given to him,″ Porter said.
In asking for the independent overseer, Moonie’s lawyers earlier said Carruth spent more than $260,000 in cash between Adams’ shooting on Nov. 16 and Feb. 8. They contend an overseer is needed to make sure he fully discloses his assets in the child-support case.
Rudolf said Carruth only spent $20,000 in expenses unrelated to the criminal case between Nov. 16 and the end of 1999.
On Monday, lawyers for Carruth agreed to Hodges’ appointment as overseer. Then on Tuesday Carruth fired those lawyers, Kenneth Spaulding of Durham and Tamela Wallace of Charlotte.
Rudolf’s motion said the two had urged Carruth to sign the agreement without telling him enough about what it meant.
Spaulding, however, said Carruth signed papers showing he understood the arrangement and was satisfied with his legal representation.