Kaufusi charges dismissed; Dotson practices

CHARGES HAVE BEEN dismissed against Sekope Kaufusi for marijuana possession, and his attorney says there were questions on the legality of the search. But it remains to be seen if the former starting linebacker will be reinstated to the Washington State football team.

Pullman attorney Roger Sandberg, who represented Sekope Kaufusi in the case, said Tuesday that Whitman County prosecutors recently dismissed the case "without prejudice" due to a lack of evidence.

Sandberg said there were questions on both sides about the legality of the search of Kaufusi's apartment by Pullman Police.

"Without prejudice" means the case can be re-opened if new evidence becomes available, but Sandberg said that is highly unlikely in Kaufusi's case.

New WSU coach Mike Leach has a hard-line stance against drug use by players, but he indicated during a March 26 interview with Seattle's KJR Radio that Kaufusi might have a chance to be reinstated to the team.

"I think it's possible (for a return), I don't know. I don't have a crystal ball on that...it would be an extended period of time," said Leach in the radio interview.

A WSU spokesperson said Tuesday there has been no change in Kaufusi's status.

"I do think Kaufusi is a nice guy," Sandberg said. "He has had no previous involvement with the law. It seems like he deserved a second chance."

Kaufusi had 42 tackles in 11 games as a redshirt sophomore last year despite a late-season shoulder injury that required surgery over the winter.

Kaufusi was one of WSU's three regular starters at linebacker last season. Alex Hoffman-Ellis was a senior, and junior-to-be C.J. Mizell was kicked off the team by Leach after being charged with assault in February for allegedly punching a WSU male student. Mizell is scheduled for arraignment May 15.

Denzell Dotson, a freshman offensive lineman who enrolled at WSU in January and has been going through spring practice, was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Dotson practiced Tuesday, the first day WSU practiced since his arrest.

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