Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Murder Is not an Option

I ran across this headline today "Rae Carruth Loses Appeal".   Who, you may ask is Rae Carruth?   He was the Carolina Panthers' first round pick in 1997.   In 1999, his girlfriend who was eight months pregnant at the time was shot in her car while driving her car.   The girlfriend, Cherica Adams, died of the gunshot wounds.   Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child in 2001.   He was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison.   He allegedly wanted Adams dead because he was afraid of losing his starting job with the Panthers (he was dealing with injuries at the time of the murder) and didn't want to be stuck with child support.

I'll let the criminal defense types deal with the appeal issues.   Let's break this down from a family law perspective.   Carruth was an idiot (that is a technical legal term).

First and foremost, there is no good reason to take the life of another human being, except in self-defense.  So he was an idiot for thinking murder was a good solution to a temporary problem.

Because it was just a temporary problem.   Child support is not forever.   In Maryland, it only lasts until the child turns 18 or graduates high school whichever is later.   Some states do allow for longer periods of child support, provided the child is enrolled full-time in a college or technical school.  

Also, Carruth was concerned about having to pay child support based on his NFL salary.   But, child support is generally modifiable based on actual income.   I'll leave aside the issue of involuntary impoverishment for now.    Presumably, if Carruth were cut by the Panthers, he would find other work.   He could then request the court modify his child support obligation based on his actual income.  

So, Carruth took the life of another human being in order to avoid 18 years of child support.   He chose to kill someone and now has to serve 18 to 24 years in prison.   I am thinking 18 years in prison is lot worse than 18 years of making child support payments.  

Here's the real kicker:   the unborn child survived.   He has severe injuries.   So, his alleged reason for participating in the murder backfired anyway.   He will be expected to pay the back support when he is released from prison.   Unlike the actual obligations, the obligation to repay the arrears (missed payments) continues until all the arrears are paid.   I have no idea how the arrearages will be calculated, but I am betting it will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range.   If I were Cherica Adams family who have guardianship of the child, I would ask that the support be calculated based on his salary at the time of the child's birth.   Yep, that NFL salary he was afraid of losing.   The arrearages will also include any extraordinary medical expenses for the child too.  

In other words, Rae Carruth is doing 18 to 24 only to have to face making the child support payments anyway.   Like I said, "Idiot!"

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