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Uncle who challenged nephew to drinking contest gets 10 years - KOAM TV 7

Uncle who challenged nephew to drinking contest gets 10 years

Tyler Fecko Tyler Fecko
Dale Phillips Dale Phillips
Linda Petrait Linda Petrait

Updated March 26, 2012:  A Four State man will spend the next 10 years behind bars for challenging his nephew to a drinking contest.

A poor decision that led to the death of an 11-year-old boy.

This morning a Jasper County judge handed down both a 10 and 5 year sentence to Dale Phillips.

In January the 29-year-old pled guilty to 2nd degree murder and also to endangering the welfare of a child.

Both sentences will run concurrently.

The charges stemmed from a 2009 incident.  Phillips and his girlfriend, Linda Petrait, had included Phillips' nephew in a drinking game.

Tyler Fecko was found dead the next morning.

Autopsy results show the 11-year-old died from alcohol poisoning.

In January, Petrait received a 13 year sentence for her role in the child's death.

Updated January 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM CST:  A Joplin man has plead guilty to 2nd degree murder for the death of his 11 year-old nephew.

In July 2009 authorities say the boy played a drinking game with his uncle, Dale Phillips, and his uncle's girlfriend.

The boy, Tyler Fecko, was found dead the next morning.

Today, Phillips pled guilty to murder in the 2nd degree and also to endangering the welfare of a child.  He'll be sentenced in March.

Earlier this month Phillips' girlfriend, Linda Petrait, was sentenced to 13 years for her role in Fecko's death.

Updated January 9, 2012 at 12:20 PM CST:  Linda Petrait has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for her part in the death of 11 year old Tyler Fecko.

Petrait pled guilty in October to second degree murder.  She was also sentenced to five years concurrently for felony endangerment of a child.

Fecko was with his uncle, Dale Phillips, and Petrait when the couple included the child in a drinking game.

Fecko was found dead the next morning.

Phillips goes to trial February 7.  Petrait is required by her plea agreement to testify if called as a witness.

Updated October 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM CST:  A Joplin woman charged in a deadly drinking game with a child changes her plea to guilty.

Linda Petrait was accused of second degree murder and child endangerment after she and her boyfriend at the time, Dale Phillips, challenged eleven year old Tyler Fecko to a drinking contest in 2009.

Phillips was Fecko's uncle and an autopsy showed the boy died of alcohol poisoning.

Now, Petrait has admitted to her part in Fecko's death.  Her sentencing is scheduled for January 16.

Phillips is also accused in the boys death and his case is set for trial.

Updated April 26, 2010 at 2:09 PM CST:  On Monday Dale Phillips plead not guilty to charges of second degree murder of Tyler Fecko.

Phillips and his girlfriend, Linda Petrait, are accused of playing a drinking game with the 11 year-old the night of his death in July of last year.

Autopsy results show the boy died from alcohol poisoning.

Petrait has also plead not guilty and is expected to be in court next month.

Phillips is also schedule to be in court next month.

Updated March 25, 2010 at 5:08 PM CST:  A Joplin man charged with the alcohol poisoning death of his nephew will go to trial.

The ruling came in the preliminary hearing on Thursday for Dale Phillips, charged with second degree murder for the death of Tyler Fecko.

Phillips and his girlfriend, Linda Petrait, are accused of playing a drinking game with the 11-year-old the night of his death in July 2009.

Autopsy results show the boy died from alcohol poisoning.

Both Petrait and Phillips have been bound over for trial.

Both have plead not guilty to second degree murder.

Updated February 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM CST:  Linda Petrait of Joplin is charged in the death of her boyfriends nephew.  In a hearing on Friday Petrait has asked to have her case moved out of the area.

The judge heard arguments about media coverage and it's influence on potential jurors.  The judge took the motion under advisement and said he will issue a ruling next week.

Petrait is charged with second degree murder for the death of Tyler Fecko, 11.

Autopsy results show the eleven year old died from alcohol poisoning last July.

Petrait and her boyfriend/Tyler's uncle - Dale Phillips, are both accused of playing a drinking game with the boy.

The two were arrested last July after Tyler died.

Rescue crews responded to a call about a child not conscious and not breathing.

Police say the couple had been drinking with Tyler the night before, challenging him to a drinking contest.

Updated February 18, 2010 at 6:07 PM CST:  A Joplin man is now charged with murder in the alcohol poisoning death of his eleven year old nephew.

Dale Phillips had already been charged with endangering a child after police say he and his girlfriend included the child in a drinking game last July.

Tyler Fecko died of alcohol poisoning while in the care of Phillips and Linda Petrait.

Petrait has also been charged with murder.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday for Dale Phillips was delayed until next month.

Updated December 22, 2009 at 5:11 PM CST:  Linda Petrait is charged with second degree murder and child endangerment for the death of Tyler Fecko, 11, last July.

Police say Petrait and her boyfriend, Dale Phillips, played a drinking game with the boy.

Medical examiners say the child died of alcohol poisoning.

Phillips was Tyler's uncle, and has also been charged.

Updated December 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM CST:  A Joplin woman accused of playing a drinking game with an 11-year-old was bound over for trial on Wednesday.

Authorities have charged Linda Petrait, 27, with second degree murder and child endangerment for the death of Tyler Fecko.

Medical examiners say the child died of alcohol poisoning in July.

Police say Petrait and her boyfriend, Dale Phillips, played a drinking game with the boy.  Phillips was Tyler's uncle.

Phillips is charged with child endangerment, but prosecutors say they are still considering more charges against him.

Police were called to Phillips and Petrait's home on Central Street in Joplin in late July.  First responders found the boy unconscious and not breathing.

Investigators say the couple challenged the 11-year-old to a drinking game and he consumed a large amount of alcohol.

Updated August 26, 2009 at 5:39 PM CST:  A Joplin man accused of child endangerment in the death of his nephew makes his first appearance in court.

Dale Phillips was arraigned Wednesday in Jasper County court.

He plead not guilty to the charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Tyler Fecko died on July 27 after police say Phillips and his girlfriend challenged the 11-year-old to a drinking game and allowed him to drink whiskey.

Court records indicate the pair had packed their bags and were attempting to leave when they were arrested.

Phillips' next court appearance is scheduled for September 16.

His girlfriend, Linda Petrait, plead not guilty in a court appearance earlier this month.

Updated August 6, 2009 at 12:32 PM CST:  A Joplin woman accused of playing drinking games that led to the death of an 11-year-old child appeared in court Thursday.   In the case of Tyler Fecko,  Linda Petrait says she's not guilty in the 11-year-old's death.

She appeared by video arraignment Thursday morning.

Police say Petrait and her boyfriend Dale Phillips engaged in drinking contests with Tyler -- letting him drink whiskey -- and then neglecting to supervise Tyler after he ingested a large amount of alcohol.

Tyler was found dead at his uncles house June 27th.

Dale Phillips bonded out of jail Wednesday night. 

He'll be arraigned at a later date.

Updated August 5, 2009 at 8:11 PM CST:  Just five days after Tyler J. Fecko is buried his uncle is out of jail.

Dale Phillips is facing a charge of child endangerment after police say he challenged his 11-year-old nephew to a drinking game.

He has posted his $50,000 bond.

Phillips' girlfriend, Linda Petrait, is still in jail and is also facing a child endangerment charge stemming from the drinking game.

Police say the 11-year-old was found dead the morning after the incident.

Updated July 28, 2009 at 2:10 PM:  Dale Phillips and Linda Petrait are accused of playing drinking games with eleven year old Tyler Fecko.

In the complaint filed in Jasper County court today, the two knowingly "acted in a manner that created a substantial risk to the life and body and health of Tyler Fecko.

The affidavit says the couple was released Monday after questioning.

However, the two were taken into custody again Tuesday morning Monday at 5:40 p.m., after Fecko's family contacted authorities saying they were packing bags and preparing to flee.

Updated July 28, 2009 12:22 PM:  Dale Phillips and Linda Petrait have been formally charged in connection with the death of an 11-year-old Joplin boy.

Posted July 28, 2009 at 11:57 PM:  Dale Phillips and Linda Petrait are arrested and charges are pending in connection with the death of an 11-year-old Joplin boy.

Phillips is the boy's uncle.  He and Petrait were living together.

On Monday police responded to Phillips' house at 813 East Central and found Tyler Fecko unconscious and not breathing.

He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police say they do have reason to believe the boy drank too much alcohol and died as a result of alcohol poisoning.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, however, police say results could take weeks.

"They interviewed witnesses and other family members," says Cpl. Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department.  "They got to the point where they felt they had enough probable cause arrests for child endangerment in the first degree."

Police took Phillips and Petrait into custody Monday.

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