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Lawyer says Dotson innocent, alleges coverup

11/3/2003 - Baylor Bears

FORT WORTH, Texas -- An attorney for the father of slain
Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy says his
investigation shows that Dennehy was killed by someone other than
Carlton Dotson, the former player charged in the crime.

"It is our belief, based on our investigation, that Dotson is
innocent," Daniel Cartwright told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Cartwright is one of two Houston-based attorneys representing
Dennehy's father, Patrick Dennehy Sr., who lives in Tacoma, Wash.,
in his lawsuit against former Baylor coach Dave Bliss and others.

"There are certain people at Baylor who know that, and they
have been working very hard to cover that up, according to our
investigation," Cartwright said.

Noley Bice, Baylor's general counsel, said Cartwright's
statements do not merit a response because they do not include
details or named sources.

The lawsuit was filed Aug. 22 in Houston. A judge Monday granted Baylor's request to transfer the case from Houston to Waco, the university's home.

State District Judge Bruce Oakley, a Baylor graduate, said he was moving the case "in the interest of justice" and to keep from inconveniencing potential witnesses.

Cartwright declined to reveal the evidence or identify potential
suspects, saying he does not want to scare off witnesses who will
be asked to provide depositions for the lawsuit.

Randy Plemons, McLennan County's chief sheriff's deputy, said
his office is unaware that Cartwright has information clearing
Dotson and would want to know what it is before commenting.

"Obviously, we wouldn't have pursued a case against Mr. Dotson
and taken it to the district attorney's office unless we felt like
we had a strong case," Plemons said.

Dennehy, 21, was missing about six weeks before his body was
found July 25 near a gravel pit southeast of Waco. An autopsy
revealed that he had been shot twice in the head.

Dennehy played two seasons for New Mexico before
transferring to Baylor in the spring of 2002.

Cartwright said his investigators found evidence indicating that
at the time of the June shooting, three or four people were seen in
the area where Dennehy's body was later found. He also said that
Dotson and Dennehy, who were friends and roommates, feared for
their lives in the weeks before the murder but did not fear each
other.

On Wednesday, Dotson pleaded not guilty to killing Dennehy. A day
earlier, he was returned to Waco from Chestertown, Md., where he
had been jailed three months. Dotson was arrested July 21 in his
home state after asking to speak to FBI agents and telling them he
had killed Dennehy, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Russ Hunt, one of Dotson's two court-appointed attorneys, said
he is open to receiving input from Cartwright.

In his lawsuit, Patrick Dennehy Sr. says that his son became the
target of violent threats after saying he might expose wrongdoing
in the Baylor men's basketball program. The suit says Dennehy was
"lured to his death" by another player but does not identify the
player.

Bliss resigned Aug. 8 after school investigators said he
provided improper tuition payments for Dennehy and another player.
A week later, assistant coach Abar Rouse gave university officials
and the NCAA tapes of secretly recorded conversations in which
Bliss told players to lie to investigators and say Dennehy paid his
tuition by dealing drugs.