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Sentence Handed Down in Carruth Trial

Aired January 22, 2001 - 12:36 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ROGER COSSACK, CNN ANCHOR: Excuse me now, we're going to go to the Rae Carruth trial, which is in progress -- the sentencing going on right now. We take you there now.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE CHARLES LAMM: ... finds the following aggravating factors to have been proven by a preponderance of the evidence: 1B, that the defendant occupied a position of leadership or dominance of other participants as to each of the offenses to which he's being sentenced, and 15, that he took advantage of a position of trust or confidence to commit each offense.

With regard to the mitigating factors which the court finds by preponderance of the evidence as to each of the charges, the court finds on number 12 that the defendant has been a person of good character or had a good reputation in the community in which he lived, and number 19, that the defendant had a positive employment history or was gainfully employed up until his incarceration on these charges.

The court concludes that each aggravating circumstance outweighs all mitigating circumstances as to each charge for which the defendant has been convicted.

With regard to the charge of conspiracy to commit murder, a class B2 felony, it is the judgment of the court that the defendant be in prison for a period of not less than 196 months or more than 245 months in custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections. He is to be given credit on this sentence for all days spent in prejudgment confinement.

Let the offenses of discharging a firearm into occupied property and using an instrument with the intent to destroy an unborn child be consolidated for the purposes of judgment. In that matter, it is the judgment of the court again finding that each aggravating circumstance outweighs all mitigating circumstances, and that he be sentenced in aggravated range, that the defendant be imprisoned for a period not less than 31 months or more than 47 months in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Correction. This sentence to begin at expiration of the 196 to 245 month sentence that the court just pronounced on the conspiracy to commit murder. He's entitled to no credit on this sentence, since all credits were given on the first sentence.

He's in your custody, sheriff. You may take the defendant from the courtroom.

DAVID RUDOLF, DEFENDANT'S ATTORNEY: Yes, your honor, before -- we adjourn with regard to our request for our other mitigating factors, would your honor just put on the record that you are denying those other mitigating factors we've requested.

LAMM: All aggravating factors request, circumstances, and all mitigating circumstances that were requested by either party which the court did not find are denied.

RUDOLF: Thank you. And we'd also give notice of appeal at this time, your honor.

LAMM: Let the record show that the defendant gives notice of appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Further notice is waived.

Has the defendant's financial situation improved any since you earlier applied for and were granted indigent status for the defendant?

RUDOLF: No sir, is exactly the same, and I'd ask the court to consider appointing me to represent him on appeal.

LAMM: The court will find that the defendant is indigent and that the court reporter prepare a transcript of these proceedings to be paid for by the state. The court will appoint the Office of the North Carolina Appellate Defender to represent the defendant, since he's indigent. In the event that they decline, the appointment -- the court appoints Mr. Rudolph to represent the defendant on appeal.

You may now take the defendant from the courtroom.

COSSACK: We've just seen the sentencing of Rae Carruth for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. He was not convicted of the murder, however; he was convicted of the conspiracy to commit murder, as well as firing of a weapon. The judge on the conspiracy to commit murder gave him no less what approximately is 17 years to approximately 20 years. And on the firing of the weapon, no less than 2 1/2 years to approximately four years. And these sentences are to be run consecutively, which means that he has to do the first one before he'd eligible for parole on that, before the second one begins to run.

That is the wrap-up of the Rae Carruth trial that comes to an end. And of course, a notice of appeal has been filed.

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