Autopsy: Dennehy shot twice in head

Updated: August 13, 2003, 8:52 PM ET

WACO, Texas -- An autopsy report released Wednesday shows that Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy was shot twice in the side of the head, but it does not indicate whether the gun was fired at close range.

Both gunshot wounds were above the right ear about 2 inches apart, the first slightly toward the back of the head and the other toward the front, according to the autopsy by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas. The first bullet exited Dennehy's forehead above his left eye; the second bullet exited behind his left ear.

The 6-foot-10 Dennehy, an Oakland native who grew up in Santa Clara, had been missing about six weeks when his decomposed body was found July 25 in a field near a rock quarry four miles south of the Baylor campus.

Carlton Dotson, who played basketball at Baylor last season and lived in Dennehy's apartment a few months, has been charged with murder. Dotson, 21, remains jailed in his home state of Maryland, and an extradition hearing is set for Tuesday.

Dr. Jerry Spencer, Lubbock County's chief medical examiner who is not involved in the Dennehy case, said the first shot likely killed the player.

Spencer said determining how close the pistol was to Dennehy's head when it was fired may be difficult because decomposition likely would mean there was no longer any gun powder residue.

According to the autopsy report, the drug screen -- which tests for opiates, amphetamines and barbiturates -- was negative. Dennehy had no alcohol in his system, but samples were too decomposed to test for marijuana, according to the autopsy.

The Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences was to send a separate ballistics report to the McLennan County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Larry Lynch said he had not received the report Wednesday and declined to comment on the case.

Dotson was arrested July 21 after telling FBI agents that he shot Dennehy after the player tried to shoot him, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Dotson's estranged wife, Melissa Kethley, testified for an hour Wednesday before a McLennan County grand jury in the Dennehy case. She declined to comment before and after testifying.

Kethley, who married Dotson last August and separated from him in April, has said he was hearing voices and had been seeing a therapist paid for by Baylor. She has said that he has told her nothing about Dennehy's death.

McLennan County District Attorney John Segrest said Wednesday that he has not sent paperwork to the governor's office, a requirement before Dotson can be extradited. He declined to say if he is waiting on a murder indictment before seeking to have Dotson brought to Texas.

"We are on our own schedule ... and everything will happen in due time," Segrest said.

Segrest plans to seek an indictment against Dotson on Sept. 10, the Waco Tribune-Herald has reported, citing unnamed sources.

Dennehy, 21, was last seen on campus June 12, and his family reported him missing June 19. His vehicle was found June 25 without license plates in a Virginia Beach, Va., parking lot, about 160 miles from Dotson's hometown of Hurlock, Md.

After Dennehy disappeared, some of his family and friends said a coach gave him money for a car and apartment rent and that his tuition was taken care of, although he was not on a scholarship.

Basketball coach Dave Bliss resigned Friday after school investigators discovered that he was involved in two players' receiving improper financial aid and that staff members did not properly report players' failed drug tests, Baylor president Robert Sloan said.

Athletic director Tom Stanton also resigned Friday, although Sloan said Stanton had no direct knowledge of any NCAA violations. A newly appointed search committee has started trying to fill those two positions by fall.

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