WACO, Texas – A former Baylor University (search) basketball player pleaded guilty Wednesday to shooting a teammate to death in 2003, a slaying that sparked a huge scandal in the basketball program at the Baptist school.
Dotson, whose trial was to start Monday, did not speak during the brief hearing other than one-word answers to questions from Judge Ralph Strother. Dotson did not enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Dennehy, 21, had been missing about six weeks when his body was found in a field a few miles from the Baylor campus in July 2003. He had been shot twice in the head.
In the scandal that followed Dennehy's death, head coach Dave Bliss (search) and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned, and the sanctions were placed on the program that included a ban from postseason competition in 2003-04.
A Baylor investigation in the wake of Dennehy's death discovered that Bliss improperly paid up to $40,000 in tuition for two players, including Dennehy; the coaching staff didn't report failed drug tests by athletes; and Bliss lied to investigators in trying to cover up his misdeeds.
A few days before Dennehy's body was found, Dotson was arrested at his home in Maryland after calling authorities saying he was hearing voices and needed help. Authorities said he confessed to killing Dennehy but have never revealed a motive.
Dotson was ruled incompetent to stand trial last fall and was sent to a mental hospital until earlier this year. A psychiatrist there said Dotson appeared to be faking some of his symptoms.
Valorie Brabazon, Dennehy's mother, said she just found out about the plea and did not know any details.
"I don't feel good about this whole thing," Brabazon said by phone from the Seattle area.