February 27, 2013

Conn. grandma kills self, two young grandsons

The Associated Press

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This photo released by the Connecticut State Police on Tuesday shows Alton Dennison, 2, left, and Ashton Denison, 6 months old, who were taken from their daycare by their grandmother Tuesday afternoon. State police said the bodies of Ashton and Alton Perry and their grandmother, Debra Denison, 47, were found Tuesday night in Preston, Conn.

AP

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This Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 photo shows the state boat launch at the end of Lake of Isles Road in Preston, Conn. State police said the bodies of 6-month-old Ashton and 2-year-old Alton Perry and their grandmother, Debra Denison, 47, were found Tuesday night in Denison's van at the boat launch. State police called the deaths a double murder-suicide Wednesday, saying they believe Denison shot the boys and herself. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)

After helping Denison to her van with the children, they discovered she had taken the wrong car seat. When they could not reach her by phone, they alerted the boys' mother, who contacted police. The bodies were found around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, about two hours after state police issued a statewide Amber Alert.

As state police were searching, they learned that Denison had left her home Tuesday afternoon armed with a revolver and had left a suicide note. The contents of the note weren't officially released.

The bodies of Denison and the boys were found in a car parked near Lake of Isles in Preston, in the southeastern corner of Connecticut. It's a town over from the day care center in North Stonington, a bedroom and farming community just a few miles away from one of the world's largest casinos.

In Facebook postings, Brenda Perry thanked people for their prayers and said she loved her sons. "God (has) two beautiful angels helping him now," the postings said.

A man who answered the door at the family home Wednesday declined to comment, and a man at the address listed for Denison said the family is asking for space.

Denison's criminal record appeared clean. She had two convictions for minor driving offenses, said Peggy Muckle, a clerk at New London Superior Court. She was fined $35 in 2003 for following too closely and, in 2004, she pleaded guilty to reckless driving, but a judge did not require her to pay the $100 fine.

Denison and her husband, Jance Denison, have had financial problems over the past several years, including a $5,926 state tax lien put on their home last month.

There were several other liens on the Denison home dating back to the late 1990s, mostly in Jance Denison's name, records show. They included three liens totaling more than $3,900 against Debra Denison by The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich and a $668 lien by Connecticut Behavioral Health Associates against Jance and Debra Denison.

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