Del City mom sentenced for deaths of three kids

Posted on: 6:21 pm, July 11, 2012, by , updated on: 06:30pm, July 11, 2012


OKLAHOMA CITY — A Del City mother, convicted in connection with the deaths of her three children, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Early last year her three young children, Chris Jr.,Crystal and Kaylee Dunham, died after their RV caught fire.

Two months ago, Stephanie Dunham pleaded no contest to six counts of child neglect and drug possession.

“You heard us ask for a life sentence. I think she earned it but we respect the judge’s decision,” Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Pam Stillings said.

Investigators claim both Stephanie and her husband Christopher repeatedly locked their three young kids inside the RV while the couple got high on meth and pot.

That left the children no way to escape the day of the deadly fire.

After sentencing, Stephanie walked into a crowd of cameras.

“Leave me alone,” Stephanie said.

“Do you this is fair,” I asked.

“No, it’s not fair. I’m the one that has to suffer without my kids,” Stephanie responded.

Prosecutors, for their part, don’t buy that remorse.

“The tears were for her. Here’s how I’m a victim. She was crying for herself,” Stillings said.

Stephanie is currently pregnant with her fifth child.

The judge said Stephanie showed an extreme lack of responsibility by continuing to have kids, but in the end, her punishment matched the one handed down to her husband.

Last year Stephanie gave up her fourth child for adoption.

That may happen again but that decision hasn’t been made.

“It’s not until the child is born that it becomes a person and that’s when the laws kick in,” Sheree Powell said, Oklahoma DHS.

Officials with the DHS can’t speak about Stephanie’s case but said it is up to mothers to make arrangements for her babies care after birth.

If that doesn’t happen the state could step in.

“The department of corrections will notify the DHS if there is no one to claim the child because basically the child has been abandoned at that point,” Powell said.

Stephanie’s attorney claimed in court the mother got pregnant a fifth time because her bipolar medication interferes with her birth control.

Back in May, a jury convicted Christopher Dunham of the same neglect charges.