Judge denies Dotson's murder conviction appeal

Updated: January 11, 2006, 11:34 AM ET
Associated Press

WACO, Texas -- A judge has denied a former Baylor basketball player's request to appeal his murder conviction.

State District Judge Ralph Strother issued the decision in a letter sent Tuesday to Carlton Dotson, 23, who is serving a 35-year prison term for the 2003 shooting death of teammate Patrick Dennehy.

Local officials said Dotson is not eligible to appeal his case because he surrendered his right to appeal when he pleaded guilty in June. Also, the 30-day deadline to request an appeal has expired.

Dotson wrote a letter last month seeking permission to appeal his case and asking the court to loan him a transcript of his court appearances.

He sent the letter to McLennan County District Clerk Karen Matkin but addressed it to "The Honorable Justices of the Court of Appeals."

Although Strother denied Dotson's request, Matkin forwarded a certified copy of the motion to the 10th Court of Appeals "out of an abundance of caution," according to her letter to the intermediate appellate court clerk, Sharri Roessler.

Roessler said Tuesday the court had not received Dotson's motion.

Court officials said that if the 10th Court justices also reject the request, Dotson's next option is to file a writ of habeas corpus, which alleges unlawful incarceration. However, he is not entitled to a free court transcript in writ proceedings, as qualified indigent inmates would be in appeals, the officials said.

Dotson's first parole review is set for 2021 when he would be 38 years old, prison officials said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press