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Judge prohibits camera from showing witness in murder trial

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    NMU         NORTH CAROLINA         Broadcasting         Nov 28, 2000    

Judge prohibits camera from showing witness in murder trial

  • A woman expected to testify against a former professional football player can do so without revealing her face to media covering the trial.

A superior court judge in Charlotte will allow a witness to testify with her face obscured from cameras covering the trial of former professional football player Rae Carruth.

After a day of cross-examination ended on Nov. 27, and he dismissed the jury, Judge Charles Lamm announced his decision on the motion by prosecutors to conceal Candace Smith from both television and still cameras. Court TV and still photographers have covered the murder trial of Carruth, once a member of the Carolina Panthers, which began on Nov. 20.

According to an Associated Press report, Smith, a former girlfriend of the defendant, told police he said he disliked his wife Cherica Adams so much he wished she was dead. Smith also said Carruth told her he had seen Adams shot and left the scene worrying that he would be implicated.

Adams was eight months pregnant with Carruth’s child when she was shot Nov. 16, 1999, in what prosecutors said was a trap laid by Carruth to avoid having to pay child support.

The 26-year-old Carruth could be executed if convicted of arranging Adams’ shooting. Adams, 24, gave birth to a son, then died a month later. The boy is in the custody of Adams’ mother.

Attorneys for Carruth claim Van Brett Watkins shot Adams in anger because Carruth reneged on a promise to pay for a drug buy and because she made an obscene gesture at Watkins from her car.

(North Carolina v. Carruth) SM

© 2000 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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