Opinions & Features May 28, 2021 at 01:00 pm

Chancellor Lee Adams, the boy whose dad tried to have him killed, is graduating high school

Ama Nunoo May 28, 2021 at 01:00 pm

May 28, 2021 at 01:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Chancellor Lee Adams survived against the odds to get his diploma. Photo: JEFF SINER JSINER@CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.COM

Chancellor Lee Adams is a living miracle. In 1999, former Carolina Panthers player Rae Carruth hired hitmen to kill Cherica Adams barely 10 weeks to her due date when she was pregnant with Chancellor Lee. Now 21, Chancellor Lee has had to fight for his life right from his mother’s womb till now and he is set to graduate from high school in June.

Chancellor Lee has permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy because he lacked oxygen following the shootout. But the Vance High School senior has beaten all the odds and will now join other graduates to walk across the stage with his favorite teacher in arms on June 5 at Charlotte’s Bojangles’ Coliseum, the Charlotte Observer reports.

When Adams was killed on the night of November 16, 1999, by four gunshot wounds from a drive-by shooting orchestrated by three assailants, she used her last 12 minutes to call “911”. Paramedics performed an emergency C-section to save her baby boy, Chancellor Lee.

Adams died at the age of 24 and her mother, Saundra Adams, became the boy’s legal guardian. Her murder trial made headlines. Carruth was convicted and spent 17 years behind bars. He was freed in 2018.

The boy came out better than many anticipated and it took six years to obtain his high school diploma. His family, especially his grandmother, is super proud of his achievements. “He’s really worked hard,” Saundra said of Chancellor Lee. “He’s been on the A/B honor roll a lot. I’m just so proud, so I may be a little loud [at graduation].”

For the first four years of high school, he was in the Exceptional Children’s high school program, and for the last two, he obtained some life skills taught in a transitional program. These life skills will come in handy even though Chancellor Lee would always need a live-in-caretaker.

Carruth has missed out on his son’s life and has had no form of communication with him since the time he tried to kill him and his mom. However, his grandmother received a letter some time ago where he still maintained he had nothing to do with Adams’ death.

That notwithstanding, Saundra has openly forgiven him and she is willing to “have some communication” with him. She also believes her daughter, Adams, is rejoicing with the angels and looking down on her son.  

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