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Hoops Recruit Won’t Face Charges

May 12, 1998

KINSTON, N.C. (AP) _ A Lenoir County judge has dropped three felony charges against Craig Dawson, a Wake Forest basketball recruit charged earlier this year in connection with a series of clothing store thefts.

Dawson, who played at Kinston High School, agreed Thursday to pay $110 for a misdemeanor charge of possession of stolen goods. Kinston teammate Derek Becton paid a $115 fine for misdemeanor larceny.

Dawson and Becton were among 12 people arrested in February in connection with the thefts from Goody’s Family Clothing in Kinston last summer.

All 12 were charged with embezzlement, larceny by an employee and conspiracy to commit a felony. Authorities said the thefts were carried out with the help of a former store employee and involved goods valued at between $30,000 and $40,000.

``I’m so glad to get this over with,″ Dawson said Monday. ``Now I can move on.″

Wake Forest coach Dave Odom said he was looking forward to having Dawson join the Demon Deacons.

``I’m certainly gratified by the judge’s decision and the university’s approval of Craig’s enrollment,″ Odom said in a statement Monday. ``.... The university stood by Craig and at the same time remained true to the high standards that make Wake Forest a special institution. Craig is a fine young person and is deserving of the opportunity to attend Wake Forest.″

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