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Adoptive parents charged with murder, child neglect in death of 7-year-old girl


by Matt Knight

Newport News, Va. – The adoptive parents of a 7-year-old girl who died in Newport News in April have now been charged with felony murder.

Police and medics responded to a report of a girl not breathing around 1:40 a.m. on April 4 in a home on Gallery Ct. When officers arrived they found family members performing CPR on the victim, seven-year-old Terrilynn Destiny Dennis. The officers took over the CPR efforts until medics arrived and transported her to a local hospital where she died a short time later.

According to police, the medical examiner has been investigating the case since then and recently ruled her death a homicide after determining the cause and manner of death.

On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, the lead detective in the case obtained warrants, charging each parent with one count of felony murder.

On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, Sheriff’s deputies served the warrants on both parents, 31-year-old Terri W. Dennis and 40-year-old Pamela T. Dennis, at the City Jail where they were being held on the original charges of felony child neglect.

Terrilynn had suffered from a number of medical issues and the couple had served as her foster parents before adopting her from Louisiana in 2012.

2013 Nov 5