Judge Sentences Pregnant Mom Of Children Killed In Del City Fire
OKLAHOMA CITY - A judge has sentenced the Del City mother of three children killed in an RV fire to 18 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each child. It's the same sentence given to her husband.
In May, 27-year-old Stephanie Dunham gave up her right to a jury trial and entered a blind plea. A judge announced her sentence Wednesday afternoon for the child neglect and drug possession charges against her.
Prosecutors say she was high on meth when her three children -- Christopher, 4, Crystal, 3, and Kaylee, 1 -- died in the fire. Fire investigators testified that the children had been locked inside the RV. During the investigation, drugs and drug paraphernalia were found inside the burned vehicle.
Prosecutors said Stephanie Dunham should be held accountable for the deaths of her children..
Dunham arrived Wednesday for sentencing surrounded by close friends and family. They all refused a request for an interview. When told this would be the last opportunity she would be able to say anything on behalf of herself and her family, Dunham said, "what, that I loved my children very much? Everyone that needs to know that already does."
Before she was sentenced, Dunham made a tearful plea to the judge. She told the judge her life had been difficult; she said she had to raise her little brother, and that she'd endured sexual abuse from her mother's boyfriends. She said her mother had actually sold her to men to pay for drugs.
Dunham also told the judge she loved her kids, and had lost her job because she wanted to stay with them. She also admitted she is being treated for bipolar schizophrenia. Dunham's attorney said her client said her client tried to save her children from the burning RV, and is remorseful about what happened.
Dunham is about seven months pregnant with her fifth child. She delivered her fourth child a few months after her children were killed.
In May, a jury convicted Dunham's husband, Christopher, of three counts of child neglect, as well as possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of methamphetamine in front of a child under 12 years of age. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He claimed the sentence was unfair as he was led away to start his prison sentence.