NCAA

The Tragic Death of Patrick Dennehy Who Was Murdered by His Own Teammate

In 2003, the Baylor University men’s basketball team suffered a tragic loss when a player was murdered by his teammate. That player was Patrick Dennehy, and Carlton Dotson murdered him.

Dennehy was preparing for his first season with the NCAA basketball team, but unfortunately, his life was taken way too soon.

Patrick Dennehy spent two seasons at New Mexico before transferring to Baylor

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Dennehy was a native of Santa Clara, California, and he was a standout high school player at Saint Francis High School. After his high school career, he attended the University of New Mexico. During his freshman year, he did not see much playing time at New Mexico. He appeared in 33 games, making one start, and averaged 2.5 points and 4.2 rebounds. 

Dennehy made tremendous improvements during his sophomore year. He became a starter and started in 28 of the 30 games he played in. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds for New Mexico. In just one year, Dennehy became a top player on the New Mexico basketball team. After spending two seasons at New Mexico, Dennehy decided he would transfer to Baylor in 2002. 

He redshirted during his first year with the team, and during the summer of 2003, he was preparing to have a big season. 

Patrick Dennehy was tragically murdered by his teammate

Dennehy did not have a chance to play a game for Baylor because his teammate murdered him during the summer of 2003. It was a tough time for the school dealing with the murder. In the summer of 2003, there were reports that Dennehy and his teammate Carlton Dotson were concerned about their safety, so they both purchased pistols. 

There was something that wasn’t adding up in June of 2003. Dennehy’s mother and stepfather became worried when they didn’t hear from him on Father’s Day. The last time Dennehy was seen was on June 12, and on June 19, his mother and stepfather filed a report with the Waco Police Department that he was missing. Dennehy’s body was found on July 25, and it was badly decomposed. On July 30, it was determined that his death was ruled a homicide after a preliminary autopsy report showed that Dennehy died of gunshot wounds to the head. 

Patrick Dennehy’s teammate pleaded guilty of the murder

According to an informant, Dotson told his cousin that he shot and killed Dennehy during an argument while they were firing guns. Five days before his trial for the murder, Dotson unexpectedly pleaded guilty to killing Dennehy on June 8, 2005. Dotson was sentenced to 35 years in prison and would be eligible for parole after serving about half of his sentence, in 2021.

In January of 2006, Dotson wrote a letter seeking permission to appeal his case, but a judge ruled that Dotson forfeited his right to appeal when he pleaded guilty. Dotson is currently at the John B. Connally Unit, near Kennedy, Texas. The murder of Dennehy was a tragedy for the family and the Baylor basketball family. Baylor held a campus-wide memorial for Dennehy on August 28, 2003. Even though he wasn’t at Baylor for that long, Dennehy made an impact while he was there.