Former Baylor player faces life in murder case

Updated: May 7, 2005, 12:44 AM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- The court-appointed lawyer for former Baylor basketball player Carlton Dotson said his client won't use an insanity defense in his upcoming murder trial.

Dotson faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of shooting 21-year-old teammate Patrick Dennehy, who was missing about six weeks before his body was found in July 2003 in a field near Baylor's Waco campus.

Attorney Russ Hunt of Waco said in Friday's online edition of The Dallas Morning News that Dotson is mentally ill, but there's not enough evidence to show he was too sick to understand right from wrong at the time of Dennehy's death.

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.

Later, he denied that he confessed to killing Dennehy. Authorities have refused to discuss a motive for the slaying.

Doctors at Vernon State Hospital, where Dotson was sent for treatment, were able to restore his mental competence, Hunt said.

"They tried several medications until they found one that worked," he said. "He's still on medication."

Although Hunt concluded Dotson was not criminally insane at the time of Dennehy's death, he said he does expect Dotson's mental condition to be explored if the case reaches a punishment phase.

"I think it's probably safe to say he's going to have a punishment phase for something," Hunt said.

Dotson is being housed in the McLennan County jail in Waco. The trial is set for June 13.

Baylor basketball coach Dave Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned following revelations of serious NCAA violations revealed after Dennehy's death.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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