In 2001, Rae Carruth went to prison, convicted for conspiracy to murder his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams.

Monday he walked free, having completed his sentence. At 8:02 a.m. ET, Carruth, the former Carolina Panthers wide receiver, walked out of Sampson Correctional Institution, got in a white Chevy Tahoe and drove away without speaking to an assembly of reporters outside the facility.

“I’m excited about just being out of here. I’m nervous just about how I’ll be received by the public,” Carruth said in a phone interview with WSOC-TV on Sunday. “I still have to work. I still have to live. I have to exist out there and it just seems like there is so much hate and negativity toward me. I’m actually somewhat frightened.”

Whether he will seek a relationship with his son, who was born with brain damage after being removed from his dying mother’s womb, is unclear.