Del City mom pleads no contest after death of 3 kids
OKLAHOMA CITY — A Del City mother charged with child neglect in the death of her three kids pleads no contest.
Early last year three young children died in an RV fire.
Their mother, Stephanie Dunham, allegedly tested positive for traces of meth in her system at the time of the fire.
Prosecutors also claim Dunham contributed to the deaths by repeatedly locking the kids inside this burned out camper while she got high on meth and pot.
Friday Stephanie decided not to fight the case at trial.
The no contest plea on several counts of child neglect means the judge will sentence Dunham as if she’s guilty.
Dunham faces up to a life sentence.
One local attorney said the plea is a risky move on her part.
“To enter a blind plea without accepting responsibility is fairly dangerous,” attorney Jacqui Ford said.
Attorney Ford said Dunham’s blind plea of no contest gives Judge Jerry Bass final say over her punishment.
“The problem she faces is without admitting guilt she can’t accept responsibility and ask for mercy,” Ford said.
After court, Stephanie and her family had little to offer in her defense.
Stephanie only said, “What’s done is done.”
She’s now set for sentencing in early July.
The children’s father, Christopher, also left court without comment citing a gag order.
Chris is still scheduled to go to trial next week.
Attorney Ford thinks Judge Bass may have overstepped his legal authority issuing a gag order on all cases, including the Dunham’s, set before his court.
“To issue a blanket gag order on all cases set for trial is absurd,” Ford said. “Why should he be afraid of what’s happening in that courtroom?”
Stephanie is pregnant once again, this time with her fifth child.
She remains free on bond until her sentencing.