GUILTY: Father guilty of neglect in children’s deaths
OKLAHOMA CITY — Guilty on all counts. A jury convicts a Del City dad charged in connection with the death of his three kids.
Early last year three young children, Christopher, Crystal and Kaylee Dunham, died in an RV fire.
Prosecutors charged their father, Christopher Dunham, with six counts of child neglect and drug possession.
The guilty verdict means Dunham could serve anywhere from 18 to 64 years.
That’ll be up to a judge to decide.
Del City fire investigators who worked the case from day one said this was a good verdict.
“This spoke for the children. They didn’t have a voice that day but they did today,” Del City Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Keester said.
During trial, Keester testified to finding evidence of meth use and production inside the burned out camper.
Prosecutors claim both Chris and his wife, Stephanie, used a latch to lock the RV door shutting with the kids inside, leaving the victims no escape when a space heater ignited.
Del City fire investigators call it one of the hardest cases they’ve ever worked.
“It’s been tough. Tough on everybody. Tough on our department,” Del City fire investigator Zion Williams said.
“What this means is a year-long investigation came to a happy ending for us,” Keester said.
In court, Dunham’s attorney repeatedly described Chris as a hardworking dad who loved his kids, calling the fire a tragic accident.
In the end, he praised the jury for their lengthy deliberation.
“I respect the verdict. It’s obvious they deliberated very intently in a heartfelt manner. We’re grateful for their efforts,” defense attorney Robert Sisson said.
Prosecutors hope Dunham finally being led away in handcuffs sends a strong message.
“The message should be, if you have knowledge that your spouse is neglectful and don’t act, the state of Oklahoma will hold you responsible,” Assistant District Attorney SuAnne Carlson said.
“If you have children, take care of them. You’ve got to supervise them. That’s what the jury said today,” Williams said.
The jurors and Dunham’s family all left court without comment.
Dunham will now be sentenced in June.
Stephanie entered a no contest plea last week.
She’ll be sentenced in July.