Dotson's defense gets more time to prepare

Updated: February 27, 2004, 1:47 PM ET
Associated Press

WACO, Texas -- A former Baylor University basketball player charged with gunning down his roommate will go to trial in August.

State District Judge George Allen on Friday set an Aug. 9 trial date for Carlton Dotson, 21, after defense attorneys said they need more time to review evidence.

Defense attorney Russ Hunt said he has reviewed "99 percent" of the 10-15 pounds of paperwork in the case, and is expected to receive even more evidence from prosecutors. The trial had been set for March.

Dotson is charged in the slaying of Patrick Dennehy, who had been missing about six weeks when his body was found July 25 in a field near a rock quarry south of Waco. The 21-year-old had been shot twice in the head, according to an autopsy.

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

Dotson, who was arrested July 21 in his home state of Maryland, has been jailed in Waco since October. He faces from five years to life in prison if convicted.

Abel Reyna, Dotson's other attorney, said he and Hunt have not decided what type of defense to seek. He said he has not received information from attorneys who sued Baylor and who earlier alleged that someone other than Dotson shot Dennehy.

"We'd love to have that (evidence)," Reyna said Friday.

Earlier this week, a judge dismissed the final count in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against Baylor by Dennehy's father, who was seeking unspecified damages.

The lawsuit filed by Patrick Dennehy Sr. alleged that his son was trying to expose wrongdoing in the university's basketball program when "violent threats" were made against him, leading up to his slaying.

Friday's hearing came a day after Baylor's president gave a report on the seven-month internal probe into wrongdoing in the men's basketball program. Allegations of NCAA violations surfaced after Dennehy disappeared.

President Robert Sloan on Thursday said Baylor missed clues that could have stopped wrongdoing by former coach Dave Bliss, who resigned in August after revelations of improper tuition payments to two players and that some players' failed drug tests were not reported.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press