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Dotson defense to explore all options

10/30/2003 - Baylor Bears

WACO, Texas -- Attorneys appointed to represent the former
Baylor University basketball player charged in the shooting death
of an ex-teammate said it's too soon to say whether they will seek
an insanity defense.

Waco attorneys Russ Hunt and Abel Reyna were appointed to
represent Carlton Dotson on Wednesday during his first court
appearance in Texas, the day after he was extradited from his home
state of Maryland.

At the start of the hearing, the 6-foot-7 Dotson stood stoically
before state District Judge George Allen and was told that he had
been indicted on a murder charge and faced a maximum penalty of
life in prison.

Allen asked if any attorneys were with him; Dotson said "no."
When asked if he had funds, Dotson mumbled that he was trying to
get some money, then answered "no" when the judge asked if he had
any now.

The judge appointed the Waco defense attorneys after Dotson
filled out a pauper's oath declaring that he had no money.

Dotson, 21, had been jailed in his home state of Maryland the
past three months, and he recently gave up an extradition fight.

He was arrested July 21 after calling police from a supermarket,
saying he was hearing voices and needed counseling. Officers took
him to a hospital, where he contacted the FBI. Later, he denied
that he confessed to killing his former teammate and roommate
Patrick Dennehy.

Dotson was indicted in August in the death of Dennehy, 21, who
had been missing six weeks when his body was found July 25 in a
field near a rock quarry south of Waco. The 6-foot-10 player had
been shot twice in the head.

Hunt and Reyna said they met briefly with Dotson after the
hearing but had not seen the prosecution's files. Later, the
attorneys entered a not guilty plea on Dotson's behalf, according to
the McLennan County Web site.

Hunt said he would explore all options, including insanity and self-defense,
just as he would do in any case.

"Only a fool makes up his mind before seeing the facts," Hunt
said after the hearing.

District Attorney John Segrest later said the bond could be set
at another hearing, but Hunt said he did not plan to seek bond
because Dotson was indigent.

McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch and two deputies picked up
Dotson at 6 a.m. Tuesday. They flew commercial airlines from
Baltimore to Dallas and then on to Austin, before driving Dotson to
Waco.

Lynch said Dotson was restrained but would not comment on
security measures or say how airplane passengers reacted.

Dotson had returned to his hometown of Hurlock, Md., in June
after leaving Baylor.

The case rocked the Baptist school and its basketball program.
Coach Dave Bliss and Baylor's athletic director resigned in August
amid revelations of NCAA violations. School investigators said two
players had received improper financial aid and employees did not
properly report some players' failed drug tests.