Wed, Jul 02, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Dennehy may have been murdered

AP , WACO, TEXAS

A file photo of Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy.

PHOTO: AFP

A police informant in Delaware told authorities that missing Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy was shot in the head with a 9mm handgun by a former teammate after the two had an argument, according to court documents released Monday.

The teammate and former roommate, Carlton Dotson, told a cousin that he got in an argument with Dennehy while they were shooting guns in the Waco area and that Dennehy pointed a gun at Dotson as if to shoot him, the informant said.

But Dotson instead shot Dennehy in the head with the pistol, the informant said. Dotson said he then drove home to Hurlock, Maryland, and got rid of the guns along the way, the informant said.

The search warrant affidavit released Monday was filed June 23 in 19th District Court in McLennan County by Waco police detective Bob Fuller.

District Attorney John Segrest declined to comment Monday, referring questions to Waco police. Fuller did not return a phone call Monday. A message left on an answering machine at a number listed for Dotson's guardians in Maryland was not immediately returned.

Dennehy was reported missing by his family on June 19, and his sport utility vehicle, its license plates missing, was found last week in a mall parking lot in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Waco Police Chief Alberto Melis said no body had been found and no arrests had been made. Melis would not elaborate on any evidence.

Melis said officers were treating the disappearance like a homicide because his department got a call "from an outside source" that said a homicide had occurred in the Waco area and the victim could be associated with a local university.

Dennehy transferred to Baylor from the University of New Mexico in hopes of making what he called a fresh start after getting kicked off his previous basketball team because of his temper.

The 2.08m, 103.5km center accepted a scholarship to play basketball at the Baptist school and told friends he had become a born-again Christian. He was a B student and rarely missed a class.

"It's a fresh start," he said when accepting a scholarship in May 2002. "I feel great. It's a new coach, a new team, a new set of personalities."

Before he disappeared, Dennehy was attending summer school at Baylor, the world's largest Baptist university with more than 14,000 students. At Baylor, he was not eligible to play basketball for a year, but he practiced with the team and sat on the bench during games. The junior from Santa Clara, California, majored in speech communication and dreamed of playing in the NBA, then working in public relations for his favorite team, the Sacramento Kings, said John Cunningham, a speech communications professor at Baylor.

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