Couple charged in daughter's death due in court
NEWPORT NEWS – A couple charged in the death of their young daughter is due in Newport News court.
Newport News police upgraded the charge against Terri and Pamela Dennis to felony murder and child abuse from felony child neglect on November 3, 2013.
Their seven-year-old adopted daughter, Terrilynn Destiny Dennis, died in April 2013, but police say it took time for the medical examiner to determine how she died.
Arrest warrants show she'd complained about her stomach hurting the day she died and that Mrs. Dennis noticed her tongue was purple and she was unresponsive around 8 p.m.
The arrest warrants show Terrilynn had Spina Bifida and was considered a special needs child.
The Daily Press reports the child's cause of death was delayed because of peritonitis — inflammation to the tissue covering the abdomen and other organs — which was caused by blunt force trauma, in addition to medical and physical neglect, according to a criminal complaint filed in Newport News Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
The couple had been her foster parents before adopting her in December 2012, police said.