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Police search home of slain player's ex-girlfriend

By Wire services
Published November 23, 2003

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Chandler police detectives searched the home of slain Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson's former girlfriend.

Jennifer Gaddis cooperated with detectives Friday morning while they searched her Indianapolis house and removed items, Chandler police said in a statement released Saturday.

Police did not say what items were confiscated.

Police are calling Gaddis an investigative lead in Stenson's death.

According to a Scottsdale police report, Gaddis sent a death threat by text message to his cell phone Oct. 21. His bound, bullet-ridden body was found on a quiet street in the early morning hours of Nov. 5.

"U better pray I never see you U again," the text message said. "I swear Dernell U R worth a Murder charge 4 & that is all U R worth."

Another message received that day said, "If U ever want to do something 4 me then please choke slow & painful & die."

Agent Stanley King and family members told authorities that Stenson had been stalked for 18 months by Gaddis, who has claimed at various times that she was pregnant with his child or miscarried his baby.

Thomas Stenson says his brother, who was playing with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League, attempted to obtain an order of protection in Scottsdale against Gaddis shortly before he was killed, "but the police did not believe him."

Gaddis acknowledged sending Stenson a text message that said she would be happy if the player died, but told an investigator she did not send the threatening message.

According to the police report, Stenson told Scottsdale police he dated Gaddis for about a year before they broke up in the fall of 2002. But Gaddis said the couple did not split up. She said Stenson is the father of her 8-month-old baby, and that she is 11 weeks pregnant with their second child.

Four men have been arrested in connection with Stenson's slaying.

METS: The two main issues that have been hovering over Mike Piazza and the team are not issues anymore. General manager Jim Duquette said Piazza wants to stay with the Mets and will play first base willingly.

"I have no issues about him wanting to come back and no concerns about him wanting to play first base in some capacity," Duquette said. "We've had a couple of conversations."

Meanwhile, injured first baseman Mo Vaughn plans to join the team during spring training rather than retire, the New York Post reported.

Vaughn, who turns 36 next month, went on the disabled list May 3 with joint and cartilage damage in his left knee and didn't play again. He's been working out and wants to give playing another shot, starting with spring training at the Port St. Lucie complex in February.

Some of his teammates were skeptical Vaughn would be playing in spring training.

"I don't expect to after what he went through last year," pitcher Tom Glavine told the newspaper. "He saw a litany of doctors, and it sounds like nobody was telling him what he wanted to hear."

HOBSON MANAGING AGAIN: Butch Hobson knew he made a mistake and decided he wanted to manage again. The former Red Sox player and manager ended his retirement and will resume his job as manager of the Nashua (N.H.) Pride of the independent Atlantic League. Hobson said his wife and children realized retirement was pressing on him. He retired after last season.

[Last modified November 23, 2003, 01:46:45]

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