Charges dismissed against father of Tulsa children found dead inside locked truck

Charges dropped against Tulsa father after Supreme Court ruling

TULSA, Okla. — UPDATE 7/13/2020

Tulsa authorities dismissed their prosecution of Dustin Dennis after the Supreme Court ruling that left tribal matters up to federal law enforcement.

UPDATE 7/10/2020

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The Tulsa district attorney filed two counts of second-degree murder and child neglect against Dustin Dennis, the father of the two children, Friday afternoon.

UPDATE 6/15/2020:

Today Investigators with the Tulsa Police Department brought to the attention of the District Attorney’s Office additional information they were able to develop in the matter of the deaths of Tegan and Ryan Dennis.

Detectives within the Child Crisis Unit were concerned about conflicting information as it related to the initially reported facts. Video surveillance footage from a neighbor’s home confirmed that the children managed to get into the truck and tragically never got out. Based upon that newly discovered evidence, the detectives immediately reported it to our office.

They then presented that information to the judge who initially set bond. Mr. Dennis was authorized for release on a personal recognizance bond. No formal charges have been filed in this case. Once the investigation is complete, the DA’s Office will review evidence and probable cause and decide whether or not to file charges.

Officials say it is always important to note that our Constitution guarantees the presumption of innocence for any person accused of or arrested for a crime. That presumption of innocence remains until and unless a judge or jury determines otherwise.

Dustin Dennis was released from the Tulsa Jail around 3 this afternoon.

Chantiel Keyes, organizer of the kids GoFundMe page and the kids aunt, says she’s aware of the new info from the DA’s Office and says, “It’s still a tragedy that could have been prevented.”

The Dennis Kids memorial service will be Friday June 19th at 2 p.m. It will be at the Pleasant View Baptist Church in Pryor.

Original Story:

Dustin Lee Dennis, 31, is facing two counts of second-degree murder after his children, who were both under the age of five, were pronounced dead at his home, according to an arrest report.

Dennis told police he drove to QuikTrip with his children around noon and then returned to his home in the 1700 block of East 61st Street South, according to an arrest report.

A family member identified the children Sunday as Teagan, 4, and Ryan, 3, Dennis.

(Photo: Chantiel Keyes)

Dennis then fell asleep for four to five hours and when he woke up, he couldn’t find his children, police said.

Dennis told police he found his children in the floorboard of the truck and then moved the children to the living room where paramedics pronounced the children dead, according to an arrest report.

The cause of the children’s death was not immediately released.

A neighbor had video of Dennis leaving, then locking his truck and going inside without getting the children out, police said.

“The children had not been checked on for nearly five hours during the time they were locked inside vehicle," an arrest report states.

Saturday’s high temperature in Tulsa reached the low 90’s, according to the National Weather Service.

Within minutes of being left inside a hot car, a child can begin to suffer the life-threatening symptoms of heatstroke, according to kidsandcars.org. The inside of a vehicle acts like a greenhouse trapping in heat causing the temperature inside to rise very quickly.

Dennis is currently in the Tulsa County jail. A $1 million bond was issued Saturday but as of Sunday, bond has been decreased to $750,000, according to jail records.

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