Dukes' visitation at issue now

By KEVIN GRAHAM, Times Staff Writer
Published September 21, 2007

TAMPA - A judge will decide Tuesday when and how often inactive Devil Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes gets to see the two young children he shares with his estranged wife.

At a court hearing Thursday, Hillsborough Circuit Judge J. Kevin Carey held a conference call to deal with emergency motions about the visitation issue filed by Catherine Real, the attorney for Dukes' wife, NiShea Gilbert.

Earlier in the day, Gilbert said Dukes argued about the agreement they had for Dukes to visit the children on Wednesday.

Gilbert said he was to pick them up from day care and return them to her home by 8:30 p.m.

But Dukes, 23, said the two agreed that the children could spend the night with him, so they did.

After hearing inconsistent stories from Dukes and Gilbert about what happened, the judge said he'll decide when the children will see Dukes.

Dukes must now also find a new attorney for his divorce case, because the St. Petersburg law firm of Meros, Smith, Lazzara & Olney told the judge it no longer wanted to represent him.