10 years of troubles
By Times staff
Published June 13, 2007
At age 22, Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes has amassed dozens of contacts with law enforcement and the court system. They range from traffic stops to paternity suits to his own calls to report being a crime victim to calls others made to report his actions. The following list was compiled from public records showing contacts with the system. In some cases, records could not be obtained to show the final resolution.
Sept. 29: Dukes is arrested on a battery charge, according to Tampa police records. Because at age 13 he is a juvenile, no details are available.
Nov. 21: Dukes is again arrested on a battery charge, but because of his age details, including how the case was resolved, aren't available.
Jan. 9: Dukes gets a traffic ticket for having a loud soundmaking device.
Aug. 19: Dukes gets a ticket for careless driving.
Sept. 21: Dukes gets a ticket for failing to observe a stop sign.
Oct. 19: Dukes gets a ticket for defective equipment.
Nov. 6: Dukes gets a ticket for careless driving.
Nov. 24: Dukes calls Tampa police to report a stolen car.
Dec. 8: Hillsborough sheriff's deputies are called to Dukes' home after he fights with NiShea Gilbert. She says he threw a remote control at her. Prosecutors later drop the charges against Dukes.
Dec. 25: Dukes is pulled over on suspicion of careless driving. When a Tampa police officer approaches, he calls her obscene names, according to an arrest report. The officer yanks him out of the car after he tries to roll up his window and charges him with obstructing an officer without violence. He is allowed to enter a misdemeanor intervention program and charges are dropped.
Jan. 18: Dukes calls Tampa police to report a burglary. No further details are available.
Jan. 30: Dukes calls Hillsborough sheriff's deputies after a fight with Gilbert, accusing her of spraying him with an unknown substance from an aerosol container. He tells deputies he wants to document the incident but doesn't want to prosecute.
March 16: Gilbert files for child support from Dukes for their son. A judge orders Dukes to start paying $222.26 per month at a later date. Dukes is already $23,337 in arrears, and the debt is factored into his monthly payments.
April 26: Gilbert calls Hillsborough deputies and says Dukes is harassing her and making threatening phone calls. No arrest is made.
April 28: Gilbert files for a protective order, also known as a domestic violence injunction, against Dukes, accusing him of peppering her with telephone calls threatening to kill her. She said she also receives threatening calls from other members of his family. A judge denies her order, saying she isn't specific enough about the number of telephone calls.
Sept. 15: Dukes' ex-girlfriend, Carla Bryant, asks a judge to order a paternity test. It shows Dukes is the father of her baby.
Oct. 12: Gilbert calls Hillsborough deputies and says Dukes threw a soda can and a candy jar at her. No arrest is made.
Oct. 15: Gilbert files for another protective order against Dukes.
Oct. 25: Bryant files for a protective order against Dukes.
Oct. 28: A judge grants Gilbert's order and bars Dukes from contacting her for one year.
Oct. 31: A judge grants Bryant's order and bars Dukes from contacting her for one year.
Jan. 10: Dukes is cited for driving without a proper license tag and driving while his driver's license was suspended.
Jan. 18: Dukes quarrels with his sister, Katrina Evans. Evans tells Tampa police he grabbed her by the throat and punched her in the left arm. Dukes is charged with battery. He does not contest the charge and is sentenced to one year of probation.
Jan. 24: Dukes' ex-girlfriend, Zanquesha Jefferson, files a request for prosecution with Tampa police. In it, she says Dukes came to her home and choked her. Then he forced her into a chair, squeezed her cheeks and demanded a kiss, she says. No charges are filed.
Feb. 13: Tampa police are called to Dukes' house, where he reports being the victim of criminal mischief.
March 10: A paternity test shows Dukes is the father of Shantell Mitchell's baby, who was born on June 7, 2004.
March 21: Dukes' driver's license is suspended for failing to pay a traffic fine. It is reinstated on Sept. 16, 2005.
May 5: Dukes' license is also ordered suspended for failing to appear for a traffic summons. It is reinstated on Sept. 16, 2005.
June 1: Dukes' license is also ordered suspended for failing to appear for a traffic summons. It is reinstated Sept. 16, 2005.
June 16: Gilbert gives birth again and adds the baby to her child support claim against Dukes.
Aug. 4: Dukes gets a ticket for driving without a license.
Aug. 8: Dukes is ordered to pay Shantell Mitchell $881.73 per month in child support until $10,871 in retroactive support is paid off. After that, he must pay $734.78 per month.
Nov. 7: Dukes gets a ticket for failing to obey a traffic light.
Dec. 28: Dukes' license is suspended for failing to pay child support. It is reinstated on Aug. 4, 2006.
Feb. 27: Dukes marries NiShea Gilbert.
May 1: Gilbert files a petition for divorce, claiming Dukes married her to avoid paying child support. She also accuses him of being abusive.
May 11: Dukes' license is also ordered suspended for failing to pay a traffic fine. It is reinstated on Aug. 4, 2006.
June 5: Gilbert voluntarily dismisses her petition for divorce.
Aug. 4: Dukes is stopped by Tampa police for driving on a suspended license. He tells the officer his license was suspended for failure to pay child support. State records say his license was reinstated this day.
Aug. 24: Hillsborough sheriff's deputies arrest Gilbert after she scratches Dukes in the back during an argument. Charges are later dropped.
Sept. 19: Dukes' license is suspended for failure to show proof of auto insurance. It is reinstated Sept. 27.
Sept. 20: Dukes and Shantell Mitchell reach a settlement allowing their child to live with him for the six months of the year he is in Tampa. Child support is suspended; Dukes informally agrees to pay for the child's expenses.
Jan. 15: Dukes and his passenger, Willie Evans, 23, are arrested during a traffic stop after Tampa police find about 2 grams of marijuana in his car. Each is charged with a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. The case is pending.
March 8: The child support case between Dukes and Gilbert is settled through mediation. Child support payments are suspended and the arrears waived.
April 26: Porcia Reneal Daniels files a paternity suit, which includes a test result showing Dukes is the father of her baby born on July 19, 2006.
April 30: A Hillsborough County deputy issues Dukes a trespass warning after he shows up at Beth Shields Middle School in Ruskin, where Gilbert teaches. The deputy issuing the warning says Dukes was "very irate."
May 1: Gilbert files for a protective order against Dukes.
May 14: A judge throws out the petition after Gilbert fails to show up for a hearing.
May 17: Gilbert again files for a protective order, which a judge grants on May 30.
June 12: Tampa police report that a 17-year-old girl in the foster care of Dukes' step-grandmother alleges Dukes got her pregnant in February 2007.
Times staff writer Carrie Weimar, with contributions from staff writer Abbie VanSickle and researcher John Martin. Court, police and other state records were used in this report.