• An Oklahoma man, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect for the deaths of his two kids
  • He had fallen asleep after getting high on cocaine and playing video games, leaving his kids unsupervised
  • The kids, aged 3 and 4, managed to get into the backseat of his pick-up truck and died of extreme heat exposure

A 32-year-old man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect after his two children died from extreme heat inside his car last year while he was asleep, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Dustin Lee Dennis had fallen asleep around noon on June 13, 2020, after getting high on cocaine and staying up late to play video games, leaving his two kids, 3-year-old Ryan and 4-year-old Tegan, unsupervised, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma said in a statement, citing Dennis' plea agreement.

According to the statement posted on the Department of Justice website, surveillance footage showed that the two children tried to get into Dennis' pick-up truck at around 1:22 p.m. and triggered the vehicle's alarm. They were able to enter the vehicle on their second attempt minutes later.

Dennis was later seen in the footage exiting his apartment and searching for his kids at around 5:32 p.m. before discovering the two deceased children in the truck, the attorney's office said.

The two kids were unable to get out of the truck and later died from exposure to extremely high temperatures while being trapped inside the vehicle, according to the statement.

"Dustin Dennis was irresponsible and reckless. He prioritized using cocaine while his young children, Ryan and Tegan, were in his home and failed to protect them from harm," acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said.

Dennis will be sentenced to between 36 and 72 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release as part of his plea agreement, the attorney's office stated.

His final sentence will be determined by District Judge Claire Eagan at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 10.

Additionally, Dennis and his brother, Michael Dennis, were also charged in a superseding indictment with the use of a communication facility in committing, causing and facilitating the commission of a drug trafficking felony, according to the statement.

Both Ryan and Tegan were citizens of the Cherokee Nation, and the incident had occurred within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation reservation so the case was tried at a federal level.

Representation. Dustin Lee Dennis, 32, had fallen asleep after getting high on cocaine and playing video games, which left his two kids unsupervised. Pixabay