On March 30, 2009, Denny Petitt was attacked and severely beaten by his own brother, Tony. He was punched in the face at least 8 times in a row, while his brother stood over him, repeatedly punching until he wore himself out. Denny received a black eye, a cut on his forehead, a bloody nose, a bloody lip and a broken jaw. He wasn't able to get a single defensive move in before his brother, with
indifference went and laid on the couch, where he promised to do it
again. As Denny gathered himself up off the floor, an extremely intoxicated Tony was coming off the couch to do more
damage, Denny in an effort to stop the beating, did the only thing he could, the only thing that would stop Tony. He grabbed the nearest object and swung it, hitting Tony in the head, to stop him - not
kill him. Once Denny realized what happened he immediately tried to help Tony and told a witness to call 911, but it
was too late.
Tony over the years had become a very violent person, bad enough that the whole family
had decided to stay away from him because of his unpredictable and
dangerous behavior. Except for Denny. Denny would often make excuses for
Tony and apologize for the way he acted. Denny would also beg Tony to leave with him if they were out
but the Tony who had become such a violent person, would often not listen, wear out his welcome and then have to be thrown out,
leaving devastated friends and family in his wake.
Denny had seen Tony fight before and that night he
was the one receiving the blows - he knew what Tony was capable of and he knew he couldn't stop him.
Denny was within hours charged with First Degree Murder. He spent and hour and a half talking to Detectives because he was too intoxicated to voluntarily waive his right to remain silent. He spent most of that time crying sometimes uncontrollably, as he repeatedly asked the Detectives if his brother was dead, hoping it wouldn't be true. He repeatedly told the Detectives he didn't know why his brother beat him up, except for Tony being drunk. He stated that when the two of them drink they fight, meaning they argue, not fist fight.
Denny stated to the Detectives that "it should have been me", "I love my brother" and " I was trying to stop him, it's all I could do to help myself".
At trial, several Orders of Protections and police reports that were filed against Tony for his violence, weren't allowed in for the jury to hear, including Orders of Protection that his own immediate family had filed against him. One of those OP's and police reports was filed a month before this happened where a female "room -mate" of Tony's stated that "after Tony finished beating her, he went back in the living room and laid down on the couch", as if it never happened.
Denny's family hired a trial attorney who made unforgivable mistakes at trial and had no real interest in investigating the case. The trial attorney even said he would hire experts to testify, but when trial approached no experts had been hired to testify.
November 10, 2010, Denny was convicted of First Degree Murder by a
Jury. On December 20, 2010 he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
He's 61 years old, that's a life sentence.
Denny is currently in need of an appellate attorney since there were so many errors that occurred during trial. Including jury misconduct, where a juror was allowed to stay on the jury although the juror knew the family and played on a pool league with Denny's nephew (a witness at trial), a brother of Denny's and a local bar owner who also testified for the Defense. The trial attorney did not bring this to the Judge's attention until after the trial was over.