Having children is not an easy task as it requires a lot of sacrifice, time and effort into looking over them especially while they are very young. However, there are people who simply don’t want to leave some of their habits behind and continue to live their lives like nothing changed.
So was the case with the 33-year-old D. Dennis who was sentenced to four years behind bars few days ago for the incident when his two minor children aged 3 and 4 years died trapped in his car while he was sleeping because he was playing video games and getting high all night long. Additionally, he will also serve five years of supervised release.
The incident happened on June 13, 2020, in their Oklahoma home when Dennis was visiting his brother and got back home together with his children before 1 a.m. The court documents indicate that the surveillance footage confirmed entering their home garage before 1 a.m.
Dennis indicated in a text to his brother that he was turning his game on and later texted that he did a couple of lines and that he hated chopping up cocaine when it’s moist. He indicated he was about to do some more.
The next day Dennis left his home around noon and he returned home in just 11 minutes. Since he was very tired playing games and getting high all night long, he immediately fell asleep and slept for a few hours.
In the meantime, the security camera caught his minor children trying to enter his pickup truck. The initially failed to get into the vehicle, but succeeded in their second attempt. More than four hours later, Dennis is seen nervous, panickingly looking for his children all over the place. Within minutes, he discovered the children deceased in the truck.
He was initially charged with two counts of second-degree murder in Oklahoma, but the case was passed to the federal authorities after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 in McGirt v. Oklahoma that the eastern half of the state is a Native American reservation. The children were citizens of the Cherokee Nation, and the crime happened inside the Muscogee Nation reservation.
According to the court documents, Dennis wrote a statement saying that that day the temperature outside reached more than 90 degrees meaning that the temperature in the car was much higher. He confessed that they ended up trapped in his pickup truck and died of exposure to extremely high temperatures.
Dennis pleaded guilty in July admitting that he was getting high and played video games all night long resulting to be very tired the next day. He was aware that he made a mistake leaving the minors unattended when the incident took place.
Dennis’ attorney said that significant factor in the case was his drug and alcohol addiction and added that the suspect was seeking counseling before his children’s deaths. The defense attorney added Dennis was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, suffering from combat-induced post-traumatic stress disorder.