- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2003

WACO, Texas — Investigators on foot and horseback searched a gravel pit near the Brazos River yesterday for the body of Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy, who police believe was killed by a former teammate.

The teammate, Carlton Dotson, was charged with murder Monday in Chestertown, Md., near his hometown. He was ordered held without bail yesterday, and his attorneys said they would oppose his transfer to Texas.

The search for the body was centered just miles from the Baptist university where Dotson and Dennehy were on the basketball team last season. Waco police Sgt. Ryan Holt said no body had been found by late yesterday.

The search began Monday night after Dotson spent about two hours with authorities in Maryland, where he lives.

Dotson, 21, admitted to FBI agents that he shot Dennehy in the head “because Patrick had tried to shoot him,” according to an arrest warrant.

Outside the Chestertown courthouse Monday, Dotson told a reporter: “I didn’t confess to anything.”

Defense attorney Grady Irvin said he had not spoken to Dotson since his arrest. He said he would examine the arrest warrant to see whether any comments Dotson made in recent weeks were included.

“If it is, there is a significant likelihood that his competency to make those statements are in question,” Irvin said.

Dennehy, 21, was last seen on campus June 12, and his family reported him missing June 19. The next day, Waco police said an informant reported that Dotson told someone he shot Dennehy in the head after the two argued.

Dotson was seen June 12 in the Texas hometown of his estranged wife driving Dennehy’s Chevrolet Tahoe, the warrant said. The vehicle was found abandoned, without license plates, in Virginia on June 25.

Dotson went to Chestertown, about 55 miles from his hometown of Hurlock, Md., on Sunday and called 911, Chestertown Police Chief Walter T. Coryell said. When officers arrived, Dotson told them he “needed counseling” and was hearing voices, Coryell said.

The officers took him to a hospital for evaluation. While still at the hospital, Dotson asked to speak with FBI agents, authorities said.

Dennehy’s stepfather and mother, Brian and Valorie Brabazon, have said Dennehy was threatened shortly before his disappearance and reported the threats to his coaches.

Baylor basketball coach Dave Bliss said in a statement that “Patrick never reported any threats to the coaching staff.”

Bliss said the team and university were shaken by the turn of events.

“We keep hoping this isn’t true,” Bliss said. “I wish we knew more. We don’t know why, and we don’t know what happened.”

Dotson’s estranged wife, Melissa Kethley, said in Sulphur Springs, Texas, that she does not believe Dotson killed Dennehy.

“I’ve known that he’s needed psychological help for a very long time,” Kethley said, crying, during a telephone interview. “He needs help, the boy needs help. … Maybe, if he did do this, it’s a blessing in disguise, and he can get the help he needs.”

Kethley would not discuss why she and Dotson were estranged.

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