Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included incorrect information about what a neighbor’s video showed. The story has been corrected.


A man who was arrested after his two children died in a hot vehicle was charged Friday with second-degree murder after a continued investigation.

Tulsa County prosecutors levied two counts of second-degree murder against 31-year-old Dustin Dennis, court documents indicate.

Dennis was booked into the jail June 13 on two complaints of second-degree murder but was released on a personal recognizance bond after security footage from a neighbor’s home showed that the children got into the truck on their own, officials said.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said the case was never abandoned despite the decision to release Dennis on a recognizance bond.

But just as that earlier decision was based on new information, so was the decision to file the charges Friday, Kunzweiler said.

“The original basis upon which law enforcement believed the children died was contradicted by subsequently discovered video evidence,” Kunzweiler said. “However, law enforcement’s continued investigation established a factual basis for the filing of these charges.”

He did not say what new information led to the filing of the charges.

Dennis told police on June 13 that he drove to a convenience store with his two children before returning home with the children in his truck, an arrest report says.

Investigators said Dennis told detectives that he passed out and was asleep for “four or five hours” and was unable to locate the children when he woke up.

Dennis told police that he later found the children unresponsive on the floorboard of the truck and then took their bodies into the house, the report says. The neighbor’s footage was discovered two days later.


Featured video

COVID-19 basics everyone needs to know as the pandemic continues