A Henderson psychologist who pleaded guilty to killing his wife in 2015 was sentenced Tuesday to a maximum of 10 years in prison.
In January, 59-year-old Gregory “Brent” Dennis pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter through what is known as an Alford plea, meaning he only admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to prove his guilt. Dennis’ lawyers previously had indicated they were prepared to take the case to trial, but it was delayed in September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
District Judge Michelle Leavitt sentenced Dennis to between three and 10 years in prison for killing his wife, 48-year-old attorney Susan Winters.
Winters, who also was a part-time judge in North Las Vegas, was found dead in January 2015 in the couple’s home. Her death initially was ruled a suicide, but Dennis was arrested on a murder charge in February 2017.
During a court hearing in January, prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said the case was “highly complex with a lot of circumstantial pieces of evidence.”
About two months after Dennis’ arrest, and following Las Vegas Review-Journal articles that raised questions about how Winters died, the Clark County coroner’s office changed the manner of death to “undetermined,” which indicated that investigators could not determine if it was a suicide or homicide.
The coroner’s office previously had concluded that Winters died by suicide, based mainly on information Dennis provided, after she had consumed a lethal amount of prescription painkillers and antifreeze. Investigators later determined that Dennis had lied to police about his wife’s death and had a financial motive to kill her, according to his arrest report.
Dennis was dealing with a cocaine addiction and would have inherited about $2 million, including a $1 million life insurance policy upon his wife’s death, prosecutors have said. Dennis also had conducted internet searches to find out how long it would take ethylene gylycol, used in antifreeze, to kill a person.
After Winters had taken the opioid pills, Dennis “waited for her to stop breathing” before calling 911, prosecutors have said. He also issued a do-not-resuscitate order for her at the hospital.
Prosecutors also have said that Dennis took money from his wife’s bank account before her death and later deposited a $180,000 check into his own account.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Katelyn Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.