The Justice Files: 14 years later, anger still lingers over child’s death

Justice Files

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Tyson Denny was clinging to life when he left home.

His father, Mychal Denny was running from the law. He knew he was in trouble.

Earlier, a relative reported to authorities that she suspected the two-year old was a victim of child abuse. Logan police and state social workers negotiated with Denny to bring Tyson to the hospital.  Instead, Denny, Tyson, and his girlfriend disappeared.

Authorities issued an alert and 500-miles later Denny carried Tyson as he walked into the police station of the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona. But Tyson was already dead. 

“It’s not right what he did to him and we all miss (Tyson),” said his grandmother Betty Bills.

It was 2006 when Denny was arrested and charged with child homicide. He hit the child in his stomach rupturing the intestines. Authorities said Denny was angered when Tyson defecated on the floor and Denny rubbed his face into the feces.  

Two weeks later, he pleaded guilty in a Cache County courtroom. He was sentenced to a one-year-to-fifteen year prison term. 

After fourteen years in prison, Denny recently qualified for parole. He appeared before a hearing officer with the Utah board of pardons.

“I would like to apologize to his grandma, his mom,” said Denny at his hearing. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”

Denny is 37-years old now. He was 23 when Tyson died. He wept as he talked of his son.

“I would give up my life for my son,” he said.  “Sorry okay?  Sorry for what I’ve done.”

It’s a virtual parole hearing for Denny. Listening in was Tyson’s grandmother, Betty Balls. She wants the board of pardons to deny his parole. She also reminded Denny that Tyson would now have been 18-years old.

“He took away a precious little boy and nobody deserves that,” he said. “No little kid should be hurt.  Every time family gathers it’s really hard. He’s not there. Every time we take pictures he’s not in it.”

Denny said he shares in the family’s grief.  He said time in prison allowed him to think about his crime. He said the fourteen-years has matured him.

“I lost everything,” he said. “I lost my boy. I lost my freedom.”

But Denny will get his freedom back. After serving nearly the maximum of fifteen-years he was granted parole. He’ll be released on December 22.

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