As a wide receiver at the University of Colorado, life was good – very good – for Rae Carruth. The California native double-majored in English and education, earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Academic team and was a first-team All-American in 1996.
Carruth caught the eyes of NFL scouts, eventually winning him a lucrative deal with the Carolina Panthers in the 1997 NFL Draft. He played well enough to earn a spot on the NFL's All-Rookie team, but Carruth broke his foot in the first game of the 1998 season.
Then, on Nov. 16, 1999,Carruth's pregnant girlfriend was shot four times during a drive-by shooting near Carruth's home in Charlotte, N.C. She was able to call 911 and tell authorities that Carruth had stopped his vehicle in front of hers while another car passed by, opening fire on her.
She later died, and Carruth became a fugitive. When he was caught and tried, he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and other charges, earning him a sentence of 18 to 24 years in prison. Carruth, now 34, has a projected release date of Oct. 22, 2018.