Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth, who in 2001 was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder of his pregnant girlfriend, was released just after 8 a.m. ET Monday from the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina.
Former Panthers’ WR Rae Carruth – who served nearly 20 years for conspiracy to commit murder – was released from Sampson Correctional Facility in Clinton, North Carolina, at just after 8 a.m. this morning. Carruth stepped into a waiting car, and was driven away.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2018
Carruth did not speak to reporters on as he left the prison wearing a knit cap and an unzipped jacket on a chilly morning with temperatures in the high 30s.
There was a smattering of applause as Carruth got into a white SUV and was whisked away from the prison.
— Marvin Beach (@MBeach14) October 22, 2018
He will be a on a nine-month post-release program, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Jerry Higgins.
Carruth would need special permission from a case officer to leave the state or the country during that span, but is free to go wherever he pleases after nine months.
Rae Carruth walked out of Sampson Correctional Institution and back into the free world today. pic.twitter.com/IdRxPMSlaQ
— The Charlotte Observer (@theobserver) October 22, 2018
Carruth, Carolina’s first pick of the 1997 draft (No. 27 overall), was the first active NFL player at the time to be charged and convicted with such a crime.