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Judge: Dukes must stay away from wife

[Times photo: Ken Helle]

PLANT CITY – A Hillsborough County judge granted a one-year restraining order to NiShea Gilbert, above left, the wife of Tampa Bay Devil Ray Elijah Dukes.

The order means Dukes, who waived his appearance and was not present in the Hillsborough Circuit Court in Plant City, cannot contact his wife for one year.

As part of the ruling handed down by Circuit Judge William Levens, Dukes is ordered to undergo psychological evaluation before he is allowed to see his children. Also under the order, Dukes is not allowed to possess weapons.

"I'm just happy that I've got it for a year, and I can move forward," Gilbert, 26, said outside the courtroom.

Gilbert said her life lately had been "hell" and that she hopes that the psychological evaluation will get Dukes the help she feels he needs.

"He just needs to get help so he can be a normal, functioning citizen," she said.

Gilbert said she wasn't surprised Dukes was absent.

"He never shows up to court," said Gilbert, accompanied by her mother Mary, who added that the past few weeks had been difficult

"I'm just glad it's all over," Mary said.

Gilbert's attorney, Dale Gabbard, said the next step will be arranging a hearing to determine child support and alimony.

-- By Carrie Weimar, Times staff writer

Previous stories:
- Elijah Dukes' troubled past
- Ballplayer's wife: He threatened me, kids
- Without cooperation, charges are unlikely
- Shelton column: Only we can stop cycle of violence

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:31am]


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