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Baylor Suspect Hints Self Defense

The Baylor University basketball player accused of shooting a former teammate insisted he was not a bad person and said "some things happen that aren't in your control."

Carlton Dotson, in a jailhouse interview with The Dallas Morning News, suggested that the slaying of Patrick Dennehy was in self-defense and said he had been hearing voices.

"If someone points a gun at you and shoots and it doesn't go off, what would you do?" he asked. "If someone is pointing a gun at you and they start putting more bullets into the gun, what would you do?"

Asked what he did, Dotson only laughed and did not answer, the newspaper reported.

Dennehy had been missing about six weeks when his decomposed body was found Friday in a grassy field four miles from the Baylor campus. Investigators had been searching for the 21-year-old at nearby site police say Dotson provided to them after his July 21 arrest.

A funeral service for Dennehy has been tentatively scheduled for mid-August in San Jose, Calif., near where he grew up. The funeral had originally been planned for next week, but Pastor Dick Bernal of the Jubilee Christian Center says he has been told that forensic work will continue through Thursday or Friday. A campus memorial service for Dennehy is being planned for September at Baylor, the world's largest Baptist university with 14,000 students.

Dotson told FBI agents that he shot Dennehy after the player tried to shoot him, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. A preliminary autopsy report released Wednesday said Dennehy was killed by gunshot wounds to the head, and listed homicide as the cause of death.

Dennehy's girlfriend, Jessica De La Rosa, told The Associated Press she doesn't believe the shooting was in self-defense. De La Rosa said Dotson was being "cowardly" in his account to the newspaper.

"For him (Dotson) just to laugh at something like that? God help him," De La Rosa told the AP from her Albuquerque, N.M., home Wednesday night.

She said Dennehy sometimes got into a "tiff" with a teammate on the basketball court but never would have pretended or tried to shoot anyone. "He understood the seriousness of guns," De La Rosa said. "He would not turn and jokingly point a gun at somebody. He would not do that."

After his arrest, Dotson told The Associated Press that he "didn't confess to anything." Since then, Dotson has not responded to a request from the AP for an interview.

Dotson, 21, remains jailed without bond in his home state of Maryland and awaits extradition to Texas, which could take as long as three months.

"I'm really not a bad person," he told the newspaper. "Some things happen that aren't in your control."

Dotson told the News in Thursday's editions that his life has been threatened and that he has been hearing voices that say, "We are many. We are strong. We are behind you. We support you. We are ready for war ... a spiritual war." He also confirmed that Baylor paid for him to see a Waco therapist because of his increasingly erratic behavior.

Baltimore television station WZJ-TV reported late Wednesday that Dotson was placed on suicide watch in jail.

Meanwhile, after basketball coach Dave Bliss addressed allegations of possible NCAA violations, Dennehy's roommate, Chris Turk, said that he was "unable to sit quietly as the university lies and denies all wrongdoing."

Baylor opened a new inquiry last week, prompted by claims from some of Dennehy's relatives and friends.

"Since the very beginning of my roommate's disappearance, it seems to me that Baylor and the coaching staff have done the best they could to simply wash their hands of the negative publicity," Turk said Tuesday.

A committee of three Baylor Law School professors will investigate allegations that an assistant coach told Dennehy his education and living expenses would be paid if he gave up his scholarship for a year. Baylor tuition and fees cost more than $17,000 a year.

The committee also will examine whether Dennehy received $1,200 to $1,800 from an assistant coach toward a car loan for his Chevrolet Tahoe.

Turk, who does not attend Baylor, said Dennehy "hinted" that one or more coaches helped him buy his vehicle. Turk said Dennehy told him that a coach paid for his vehicle repairs.

"In the time I spent with Patrick, it is very clear to me that not everything in Baylor sports was as it should be," Turk said. "... In my opinion, Baylor's active denial of all wrongdoing strays far from the Christian principles that the university is supposed to uphold."

Baylor athletics department spokesman Heath Nielsen said Tuesday that the university stands by Bliss' statements denying any knowledge of NCAA violations.

Dotson transferred to Baylor last year from Paris Junior College in East Texas. Dennehy, because of NCAA eligibility rules, had to sit out a year after transferring from New Mexico, where he was kicked off the team for losing his temper.

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