- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2003

CHESTERTOWN, Md. — The former roommate of missing Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy was charged last night with murder, authorities said.

The warrant naming Carlton Dotson was issued by police in Waco, Texas, where Dennehy has been missing since mid-June, Chestertown Police Chief Walter Coryell said. No body has been found.

As he left the court commissioner’s office last night, Dotson told a reporter: “I didn’t confess to anything. Call the FBI.” Shortly after his arrest, Dotson had referred all questions to his lawyer.

Dotson’s attorney, Grady Irvin Jr., said in a telephone interview that he had last spoken with his client over the weekend. He would not say what they discussed.

“It is most unfortunate that police have come to the conclusion that there is a death,” Irvin said. “I am uncertain as to how they came to that conclusion, that Patrick Dennehy is now dead.”

Two officers escorted Dotson, in handcuffs, into the police station about 9:20 p.m. He emerged about 15 minutes later with Coryell, another officer and an FBI agent.

Dotson, 21, was fingerprinted and processed at the police department, Coryell said. He was then taken to the Kent County court commissioner’s office for an initial hearing.

Coryell said Dotson was in Chestertown, about 55 miles from his hometown of Hurlock, on Sunday when he called police from a grocery store.

“He said he needed help,” Coryell said. “We took him to the hospital for an evaluation. During his stay there he contacted the FBI.”

The police chief said Dotson stayed overnight at a Chestertown hospital, then left early yesterday afternoon with FBI agents.

He was interviewed by the FBI and “as a result of that interview, this warrant has been issued,” the chief said. He declined to elaborate on Dotson’s statement and calls to the FBI were not immediately returned.

Irvin said he did not know what Dotson told authorities.

“I don’t know if the arrest warrant is based on statements [Dotson] made or information gathered through law enforcement agencies and their investigations,” Irvin said. “I’m sure that when I read the warrant, I am 100 percent certain that there will be information not previously available to my office.”

Irvin, of St. Petersburg, Fla., said he would probably arrive in Baltimore today and travel to Chestertown to meet with Dotson.

Baylor coach Dave Bliss did not immediately return telephone calls last night. The school’s athletic department did not immediately have comment.

Last Thursday, Dotson voluntarily went to the Dorchester County sheriff’s office near Hurlock to make a statement about Dennehy’s disappearance. He was never in custody and was not arrested, leaving the office with his high school basketball coach.

Waco police declined to discuss what Dotson told authorities last week, saying only that it did not change the course of their investigation. A woman who answered the door at the home in Hurlock that Dotson shares with his great-grandparents said the couple had gone to bed. When told by a reporter Dotson had been charged with murder, she said “you know more than we know” before closing the door.

Dennehy’s Chevrolet Tahoe was found June 25 in a strip mall parking lot in Virginia Beach.

Authorities said Friday they were trying to determine if a 9mm handgun found Thursday at a Waco apartment complex near Baylor was related to Dennehy’s disappearance.

According to an earlier search warrant affidavit, an unidentified informant reported to Delaware authorities that Dotson told a cousin he shot Dennehy as the two argued while shooting 9mm guns in the Waco area.

Some of Dennehy’s friends say he told them that he and Dotson were being threatened and that they obtained guns. Dennehy’s family claimed the 6-foot-10, 230-pound center told coaches he feared for his life.

Bliss has repeatedly said he and his staff were not aware of any threats.

Dotson lost his basketball scholarship this spring and was not expected to play at Baylor next season.

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