Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Tampa Bay Ray Dukes offers tears, excuses, but no child support

TAMPA — Former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes sat in front of a Hillsborough judge Wednesday and struggled yet again to explain why he has failed to make child support payments. This time, he broke down in tears.

Dukes became frustrated during a hearing before Judge Liz Rice, in which attorney Carlos Ramirez asked him about his finances.

He owes ex-wife NiShea Gilbert $74,000 in child support and alimony. And court records show that as of September, he owed $35,000 to Carla D. Bryant and $34,000 to Porcia Reneal Daniels, also mothers of his children.

"Jesus, I hate this," Dukes said at one point as he put his head on a table and sobbed.

Rice scolded Dukes in the hearing as he provided unsatisfactory answers to the attorney's questions.

"Mr. Dukes, we're not holding you in jail because we like to see you in an orange jumpsuit," Rice said. "All we want you to do is honor your commitment to this court and to your family."

At a hearing May 18, Dukes claimed he spent all but $1,500 of his Major League Baseball retirement account. A judge told him to use what remained to pay his child support. He did not pay and did not appear at subsequent hearings in the case.

Dukes was arrested Monday on charges of contempt of court and failure to appear.

In court Wednesday, Dukes told Rice that the reason he did not pay the $1,500 was that he loaned the money to a friend who also was struggling to pay child support. He claimed the friend — a man whom he knew only as "Fred" from Atlanta — assured him that he would pay him back within a few days but never did.

Rice ordered Dukes to be released from jail and set a new hearing for Nov. 22, at which he must bring documents detailing his finances, including transaction records showing to whom he has given money.

"You can't just throw a bunch of documents at your lawyer and say, 'You do the accounting,' " Rice said. "You do it, dear."

Dukes said during questioning that he owns nothing of value. An attorney for the Florida Department of Revenue, which is handling two of the child support cases against Dukes, asked him about a set of diamond earrings that are visible in his driver's license photo, as well as a Lexus he used to own.

Dukes said he sold the earrings and the car. He said he has no permanent address since he was released from the Washington Nationals in March and has stayed with relatives and friends.

"I live wherever I lay my head," Dukes said.

Times staff writer Colleen Jenkins contributed to this report.

Former Tampa Bay Ray Dukes offers tears, excuses, but no child support 11/03/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Who's behind the mysterious butt graffiti all over St. Petersburg?

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first butts, perhaps, appeared in April on some steps behind the Sundial shopping plaza.

    A photo of the butt graffiti that has been cropping up around St. Petersburg in the past several months. [CHRISTOPHER SPATA | STAFF]
  2. During the most expensive mayoral election ever, St. Petersburg City Council wants to limit PAC money


    ST. PETERSBURG — In front of a large group of red-shirted campaign finance reform supporters, the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday started the ball rolling on an ordinance that would limit individual campaign contributions to $5,000 from political action committees.

    A large crowd gathered Thursday to support passage of a controversial measure to limit campaign spending in city elections
  3. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses


    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  4. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning


    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  5. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.