Archive for Thursday, June 9, 2005

Former Baylor player pleads guilty

Dotson faces five years to life for Dennehy’s death

June 9, 2005


— Former Baylor basketball player Carlton Dotson pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing teammate Patrick Dennehy.

Dotson, whose trial was scheduled to begin Monday, did not enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors. The 23-year-old faces from five years to life in prison on the murder conviction. Sentencing was set for June 15.

Dotson did not speak during the brief hearing other than one-word answers to questions from state District Judge Ralph Strother.

Dennehy, 21, had been missing about six weeks when his body was found in a field a few miles from the Baylor campus in July 2003. He had been shot twice in the head.

Dennehy's death sparked a scandal in the Baylor basketball program that led to the resignations of head coach Dave Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton and self-imposed sanctions that included a ban from postseason competition in 2003-04.

A Baylor investigation in the wake of Dennehy's death discovered that Bliss improperly paid up to $40,000 in tuition for two players, including Dennehy; the coaching staff didn't report failed drug tests by athletes; and Bliss lied to investigators in trying to cover up his misdeeds.

A few days before Dennehy's body was found, Dotson was arrested at his home in Maryland after calling authorities saying he was hearing voices and needed help. Authorities said he confessed to killing Dennehy but never have revealed a motive.

He was charged with murder and faced a maximum of life in prison. Dotson was ruled incompetent to stand trial last fall and was sent to a mental hospital until earlier this year. A psychiatrist there said Dotson appeared to be faking some of his symptoms.


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