Justice for Denny Petitt
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Denny Petitt's attorneys persuaded him not to testify at his own trial, thereby depriving the jury of the chance to hear his side of the story and to see what kind of a person Denny really is, a hard working family man who loved his brother, regardless of the consequences. 

Bob (Denny's Dad)
Kay (Denny's Mom)
Connie & Robert
Bob (1960)

Dennis (Denny) William Petitt was born July 25th, 1949 in Springfield, Illinois.  He was born to Bob and Kay Petitt.  He had an older sister, Connie Kay (born in 1944) and an older brother Robert (Bob) Leroy (born in 1946).  In 1955 his brother Gregory (Greg) James was born, Anthony (Tony) Ray in 1957 and Troy Drew in 1962. 
The family lived in Springfield, IL and 1969 when they moved to Sodoris, IL.  By 1971 the family had moved once more to Sherman, IL.  Denny's Dad, Bob, owned and operated North Side Boxing Club.  Bob was also the coach for the Golden Gloves Tournaments for 20 years.  Denny's Mom, Kay died in 1974 after a heart attack.  Bob died from Lupus in 1992.
Denny & Donna the day they got married.

Denny started boxing at young age. In 1965 Denny became the 126 pound Novice Golden Gloves Champion at 16 years old.  In 1966 he competed and won again as a Golden Gloves Champ and won eligibility to advance to the National Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament in Kansas City, MO. Denny lost but came back in 1967 again as a Golden Gloves Champ to compete at Nationals. He was the only champ at the time to reign for 3 straight years.  When Denny wasn't boxing he would occasionally bull ride with his brother Bob and his brother Tony.  His brother Tony went to the High School Nationals for Bull Riding and Bareback Riding in 1974 & 1975.  In 1967 Denny also got married to Donna Holliday. He worked for Matthews Transfer as a truck driver.  Donna worked at Capitol Bank.  

In 1969 Denny was drafted for Vietnam. He was sent to basic training in Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. He did his AIT (Advanced Individual Training) as a truck driver for the 22nd Engineer Company in Ft. Lewis, Tacoma, Washington. He joined the boxing team there and was asked by the All-Army Boxing Team to join the training camp in North Carolina.  He accepted.   During the time Denny was training for the All-Army Boxing Team, his wife Donna was 5 months pregnant and had to be hospitalized.  She was told she was having a miscarriage.  Denny was informed and was told that if he "broke camp" to go home to be with his wife, that he more than likely would have orders for Vietnam when he returned to camp.  When he returned he had orders and was sent to Quan Tri, Vietnam. He drove a truck carrying supplies and spent most of his time in northern Vietnam, from Quan Tri to Phu Bai to Hue and around the DMZ.  He was even sent into Laos.  A land mine exploded and blew the front end off of the truck he was driving.  His injuries were minor but he was shaken.  Denny was honorably discharged in 1971 and went back to work at Matthews Transfer in Springfield, Illinois.
Swan, Petitt & McGill
The back of this picture states:
"Sp/4 Dennis Petitt (Springfield, IL) 22 Engr. Co., PFC Jeff Moore (Denver, CO), 411th Trans. Co., look on as MGen Willard Pearson, Ft. Lewis, CG & Sgt. Joe Vann, (Jacksonville, FL) Jenson Gym NCOIC, admire the trophies and sweaters the two fighters won in the Portland and Seattle Golden Gloves.  Petitt competed as a welterweight and Moore as a middleweight.

January 7, 1974 Denny and Donna had a son, John Robert Petitt.  He was born 5 weeks early with complications with the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck.  Over the next two years and after several doctors, it was confirmed that John was "severely and profoundly retarded" due to a brain injury from the lack of oxygen his brain received during his birth.  It was confirmed that if he would have been born by cesarean he would have been normal. Denny and Donna decided not to sue the hospital.  Even though the doctors and nurses had every warning sign that John was loosing oxygen during the birth and a cesarean should be performed. Donna felt the doctors and nurses were only "human" and everyone makes mistakes, human error, that's all. John is currently 38 years old but functions around a 2 year old level.  He lives with Donna. 

By the end 1976 Denny and Donna were divorced.  Denny worked various jobs under Teamsters Local 916. Donna remarried and had a daughter in 1979, Kelly, but that marriage ended in divorce and on Valentine's Day 1987 Denny and Donna were married to each other again.
From 1987 until 1992 Denny helped with his wife's parents Amusement Park, Kiddieland, inside the main gate at the fairgrounds.  He did it all from supervising the employees to maintenance.  He was in charge of all the rides and employees.  He helped in the concession stands.  He was apart of all decision making.  Kiddieland lost its contract with the State Fair in 1992.  Denny helped take care of his dad when he was terminally ill until his death in 1992. From 1993 to 1995 he drove a truck for construction.  He bought his own truck and drove for construction work from 1996 to 2001. During that time he went on several disaster sights from the Oklahoma tornado's to Little Rock, Arkansas.  He also went to Puerto Rico for disaster recovery also.  In 2002 he started working at ABC Supply Company, until 2005. By March of 2005 he and Donna were divorced for a second time. After 2005 he helped his brother Greg with his concession stand and would also do odd jobs here and there.