Justice May Finally Be Seen In Dennehy Murder

By Gregory Moore
Updated: February 8, 2005

Carlton Dotson, seen here in handcuffs near his home in Maryland, has been found competent to stand trial for the murder of Patrick Dennehy.

SAN ANTONIO – Patrick Dennehy’s family may finally get the due justice they so richly deserve with Carlton Dotson being found competent to stand trial for the former University of Baylor player. If the reports from the Associated Press and the Waco Tribune-Herald are correct, that means that the nightmare that has plagued the Waco campus for some two years may be finally drawing to a close. It’s been a trying time for the family of Mr. Dennehy and for the Baylor fans and alumni, this has been a trying time as well. Former head coach Dave Bliss was fired and the athletic director, Tim Stanton resigned. Former assistant coach, Abar Rouse, has not even been heard from since that time and it is feared that because he has done the right thing, he may have sealed his fate in becoming a basketball coach in Division I. The NCAA has come down hard on the Waco, Texas school and there have been players who left for other programs, including John Lucas III, who is now at Oklahoma State. This and so much more has transpired because Dotson decided to kill Dennehy and leave his body for the field mice and other vermin in a Texas field. So much pain has come from this that it is only right that now the man behind all of this be held accountable and be returned from a Texas state mental hospital to the very jail cell where he should have been in for quite some time.

There are very few cases that cause me so much turmoil and grief as one in which a senseless death takes place. I am still in awe in how the tragedy of Bison Dele took place and this case is just as hard, if not harder, because it so close to home. Waco, Texas is about three hours from San Antonio folks. Right up IH-35. It’s a small city but it has some deep traditions and some troubling pasts. The Branch Davidians made this city famous in the early 1990s when David Koresh decided to out due Jim Jones and his followers. When that house went up after the ATF sent in a small non-incendiary explosive device, Waco was besieged like never before. In between that time and this, the learning institution has been able to produce a couple of Gold medal Olympians and stay fairly under the radar. Then Dotson commits this heinous crime and sends a small college into turmoil. This crime unleashes everything that was wrong with the Baylor basketball program and once that Pandora’s box was open, all hell broke loose. I don’t really know if anyone from that timeframe has truly recovered and I’m not talking about the guilty parties involved.

Dennehy’s murder set of a powder keg of deception and NCAA violations at Baylor University. The school is currently on probation for the violations.

Sports tragedies happen every day in today’s society but nothing like this tragic set of circumstances prepared anyone in the sports realm for what was going down in Waco. To have one college student kill another for no apparent reason is about as abominable as a crime could get. For someone in the position that Dotson was in to commit it makes this case even more tragic and surreal at the same time. For those who have followed the case, you are quite aware that it has come to light that Mr. Dotson may be suffering form some sort of chemical imbalance in his brain. Now whether somebody on the basketball staff or in his family should have realized the graveness of his illness isn’t the case anymore. The time for worrying about Dotson’s welfare went out the window the moment he pulled the trigger that killed Dennehy and he took off to his home state trying to elude the authorities. Giving his family any consideration in that they were trying to help him BEFORE the shooting goes out the window as well since there have been stories that some of his family members have tried to hide him during his time of eluding authorities. The only thing that matters now is that maybe justice will be served with a court saying that Carlton Dotson is competent to stand trial.

Even if Mr. Dotson is found guilty by a jury of his peers in a court of law, can there ever be any solace to a family that has been devastated by the crime committed. I wonder that thought because just because Dotson can stand trial now, who is to say that he is going to serve any jail time or be put on death row for the killing of his teammate and/or friend. What kind of satisfaction will the Dennehy family truly get from seeing a man who is sick be put in shackles and then hauled off to jail like a savage beast? The only people who know the answer to that very question is the family of Patrick Dennehy; only they can answer that question if they choose to do so.

What this competency hearing basically has done is to allow the family to get their day in court and allows them to look the person who they believe took a son, brother and dear family member away from them. This hearing gives Carlton Dotson the chance to face this family. Even if justice is not dished out the way I would like it dealt with in this case, at least for this family they may find some semblance of it with this ruling. It’s been two long years or more since Carlton Dotson allegedly killed Patrick Dennehy and left the body in a wooded area. Now maybe justice can be served with Carlton Dotson facing his accusers and the family he destroyed by his actions.