Ex-Baylor player facing life in prison

Updated: February 11, 2005, 9:23 PM ET
Associated Press

WACO, Texas -- A judge on Friday set a June trial date for the former Baylor University basketball player charged with gunning down his teammate.

Carlton Dotson, 22, will go to trial June 13, state District Judge George Allen said Friday during an informal meeting with prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Dotson faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of killing Patrick Dennehy, 21, who was missing six weeks before his body was found in July 2003 in a field a few miles from Baylor's campus. Dennehy had been shot twice in the head, according to autopsy reports.

Last fall, Dotson was sent to a state mental hospital after a defense psychologist, state psychiatrist and court-appointed independent psychiatrist agreed that he was incompetent to stand trial.

Dotson was returned to the Waco jail last week after a hospital psychologist said Dotson was competent but must continue to receive psychiatric care and take prescribed anti-psychotic medication.

The psychologist also said Dotson was diagnosed with a non-specified psychotic disorder but that his accounts of hearing voices and seeing things were "suspect."

Abel Reyna, one of Dotson's attorneys, said Friday that Dotson's mental status seems to have improved since he returned from the facility.

"Right now we're better able to communicate with Carlton," Reyna said.

A few days before Dennehy was found dead, Dotson was arrested in his home state of Maryland after calling police from a store, saying he was hearing voices and needed counseling. Officers took him to a hospital, where he contacted the FBI.

Authorities have refused to discuss a motive for the slaying.

Some people close to Dotson said he reported hearing voices and seeing visions as early as 2002.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press