Official: Gun used to kill Dennehy not found

Updated: August 5, 2003, 9:55 AM ET

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Neither of two guns found during the investigation of the death of Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy is the weapon that killed him, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed law enforcement source.

McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch declined any comment on the whereabouts of the gun that was used to shoot Dennehy, who was missing about six weeks before his decomposed body was found in a field July 25.

Lynch said: "We're not going to comment on anything in this case. We're not comfortable in doing that."

But a law enforcement official who asked not to be identified said forensic tests on a firearm found near Dennehy's body showed it was not the gun used in the slaying.

The 21-year-old player, a 6-10 center, was last reported seen on campus June 12, and his family reported him missing June 19. His body was found July 25 and his head was found July 27 near a rock quarry three miles southeast of Waco. He died from gunshot wounds to the head, according to a preliminary autopsy report.

A 9mm pistol, which was found July 17 under a rock on the grounds of an apartment complex near Baylor, was not connected to the case, the law enforcement source told the newspaper.

Police said the gun was loaded except for one chamber. According to a search warrant affidavit, Carlton Dotson, who played basketball at Baylor last season, told a relative that he shot Dennehy with a 9mm gun. Dotson, who was arrested July 21 in his home state of Maryland, remains jailed without bond and is awaiting transfer to Texas.

The source also was quoted as saying investigators have cleared two acquaintances of Dennehy and Dotson who lived in the apartment complex where the 9mm gun was found.

Police also have talked to and cleared the person or people who helped Dotson get from Virginia Beach, Va., where Dennehy's Chevrolet Tahoe was found abandoned June 25, to Dotson's hometown of Hurlock, Md., the source said.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Dotson, in a jailhouse interview last week, suggested that he acted in self-defense during a confrontation. "If someone points a gun at you and shoots and it doesn't go off, what would you do?"

The Waco Tribune-Herald, citing an unnamed source, reported last week that the gun found near Dennehy's body was his own .32-caliber revolver and that it had not been fired.

Authorities found a number of live rounds from a .32 that had been spilled from a .32-caliber ammunition box, and they also recovered nearby shell casings from a 9mm pistol, the Waco newspaper reported.

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