CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ask Rae Carruth's former attorney and he'll tell you the person who was once a first round draft pick for the Carolina Panthers is now a new man.

"Rae has certainly matured and become much more in touch with his emotions and with life in general," said Carruth's former attorney David Rudolf.

Carruth's life has been behind bars now for nearly two decades. In 2001 he was convicted of charges related to the murder of his girlfriend Cherica Adams. Police said he masterminded her death to avoid paying child support for her unborn child.

Rudolf recently spoke with Carruth. Rudolf told Spectrum News that Carruth continues to say he did not hire someone to kill Adams.

"He cares that people actually understand what happened that night," Rudolf said.

He says Carruth feels morally responsible for Adams death because he was hanging out with the wrong people.

"He's very remorseful and feels like he bears responsibility for having put himself and Cherica into that situation," Rudolf said. 

One month before he's released, Rudolf says Carruth's focus is on his teenage son who has cerebral palsy.

"In the ideal world, Rae would very much like to have a positive relationship with his son," Rudolf said.

Whether that can happen is unknown. What's clear is that Carruth won't be staying in Charlotte.

"I think he wants to start anew in another place, and I know that he wants to make a positive contribution in some way. He's still trying to figure out how that's going to happen," Rudolf said.

Rudolf will be released in mid October.

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