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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Briefly

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Former Baylor basketball player Carlton Dotson pleaded guilty Wednesday in Waco, Texas, to killing teammate Patrick Dennehy.

Dotson, whose trial was scheduled to begin Monday, did not enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors. The 23-year-old faces from five years to life in prison on the murder conviction. Sentencing was set for June 15.

Dotson did not speak during the brief hearing other than one-word answers to questions from state District Judge Ralph Strother.

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.

Dennehy’s death sparked a scandal in the Baylor basketball program that led to the resignations of head coach Dave Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton and self-imposed sanctions that included a ban from postseason competition in 2003-04.

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.

He was charged with murder and faced a maximum of life in prison.

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.

Football

Rams release controversial Turley

Kyle Turley, who missed last season with a back injury and then clashed with coach Mike Martz in the off-season, has been released by the St. Louis Rams after failing a physical in St Louis.

The offensive tackle was designated as waived, failed physical, by the team earlier this week, although there has been no official announcement. The Rams will take a salary cap hit of $1.82 million this year and $5.47 million in 2006.

Turley started every game at right tackle in 2003 for the Rams after being acquired from the Saints for a second-round draft pick, but underwent surgery for a herniated disc in March 2004. He reinjured his back early in the 2004 training camp and was placed on injured reserve in late August.

The Rams filled Turley’s spot in the lineup when they drafted offensive tackle Alex Barron in the first round of the draft. Turley did not appear at the team’s three-day minicamp last weekend.

Last December Turley, upset about a remark that the team hadn’t seen him since he reinjured the back, engaged in a shouting match with Martz in the coach’s office. Turley said then in a statement that there had been a “heated, unfortunately profane exchange” during which he said Martz had told him he had come to St. Louis “just to take the money and run.”

“Deion Sanders signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens after passing his physical in Owning Mills, Md., then announced himself ready for another season.

Sanders, 37, playing primarily as a nickel back, finished second on Ravens last year with three interceptions.

“The Oakland Raiders won a minor victory in San Francisco in their long-standing conspiracy lawsuit claiming the NFL sabotaged the team’s effort to build a stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.

The NFL won a 9-3 verdict in 2001, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Richard Hubbell ordered a new trial amid accusations that one juror was biased against the team and its owner, Al Davis. The appeals court overturned that decision, and the Raiders appealed to California’s justices.

The Supreme Court did not announce when it would hear the case, but each side was already predicting victory.

“Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Tim Bowens, the last player remaining from Don Shula’s tenure, was waived after failing a physical in Davie, Fla., a move the team said was a precursor to retirement for the 12-year veteran.

College softball

Michigan claims championship

Samantha Findlay powered Michigan to its first NCAA softball title, hitting a three-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Wolverines a 4-1 win over UCLA in Oklahoma City.

After UCLA took the first of the three-game series, Michigan won the final two to become the first team from east of the Mississippi River to win the national championship. Oklahoma (2000) had previously been the easternmost team to win it all.

Hockey

Neely elected to Hall of Fame

Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Neely, a hard-hitting, sharp-shooting power forward played 13 seasons – three in Vancouver and his last 10 in Boston – and scored 50 or more goals three times.

Miscellany

Jurors clear Learjet in Stewart trial

Learjet should not be held responsible for the 1999 plane accident that killed golfer Payne Stewart, jurors said.

The six-woman jury deliberated for more than six hours after listening to more than a month of testimony, and found that the plane’s manufacturer had no impact on the death of Stewart and that there was no negligence in the design or manufacture of the plane.

The lawsuit claimed a cracked adapter caused a decompression and the escape of cabin air as the plane climbed to its flight altitude after leaving Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 25, 1999. All communication with the plane was lost and it crashed in South Dakota.

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