Jury deliberations continue in Del City child neglect case
OKLAHOMA CITY — The fate of a Del City dad charged in the death of his three kids is now in the hands of a jury.
Early last year three young children, Christopher, Cystal and Kaylee Dunham died in an RV fire.
Their father Christopher Dunham is charged with child neglect.
Late Thursday afternoon jury deliberations began in his criminal trial.
Before the jury got the case, both sides gave their closing arguments.
The defense did not put Chris on the stand but they did call an expert witness to contradict some of the prosecution’s claims.
The charred piece of the RV door could not have been locked at the time of the fire, that’s what James Cord Guthrie, an independent fire investigator told the jury.
Guthrie believes the latch had been incomplete and impossible to lock at the time of the fire.
That’s important because prosecutors claim Chris and Stephanie would repeatedly lock their three kids in the RV and the locked door preventing the young victims from escaping the deadly fire.
Prosecutors countered that Chris admitted to fire investigators he had installed the latch because the door wouldn’t stay shut without it.
The defense expert disagreed with Del City investigators who claim they found evidence, including a propane torch and pieced cans, indicating meth production and use inside the trailer.
The defense expert did agree a space heater likely started the fatal blaze and called it an unfortunate accident, not the result of child neglect on Chris Dunham’s part as prosecutors contend.
Last week the children’s mother, Stephanie, pleaded no contest to the same child neglect charges.
She’ll be sentenced in July.