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Ex-NFL player Rae Carruth who is due to be released from prison today after spending almost twenty years behind bars for conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend has said he is both excited and nervous.

Saundra Adams told the Charlotte Observer earlier this year that she would "leave the door open" for a potential relationship with Carruth. In 2001, Carruth was found guilty of conspiring to murder Cherica Adams, who was pregnant with his son, Chancellor, who has thrived despite the horrific crime that befell his mother.

Carruth's girlfriend was seven months pregnant at the time of her murder by a hitman who was paid by Carruth.

Their son, Chancellor Adams, survived the shooting, but was born prematurely and suffered permanent brain damage.

Chancellor Lee Adams, now 18, has been living with his maternal grandmother, Saundra Adams, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Prosecutors said Carruth used his vehicle to block Adams' auto so a hired gunman could shoot her.

"I'm excited about just being out of here".

Carruth still claims he wasn't intending to have Adams killed, but acknowledges a responsibility for what happened.

Carruth, 44, was released from a minimum-custody facility at Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, where roughly a dozen news trucks and throngs of reporters awaited the former National Football League first-round pick's release, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Carruth told WSOC-TV he hoped to be forgiven and spoke about how he was frightened about his release.

"I let him down as he came into this world and the only way that I can make that right and the only way I can work out my relationship with my son is to be there for him", Carruth wrote.

He was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. I still have to live. "He's a lot more introspective than he used to be, and I think he wants to get out of North Carolina".

'I don't want to harm Ms. Adams. I really do. We can talk about how this has affected my life and my family and what it's been like to go through the 19 years.

"Chancellor will be raised either by me, or, after I'm gone, by someone else who loves him and who knows him". He's scheduled to be released from prison in 2046 after taking a second-degree murder plea in 2001.