The man charged in connection with the deaths of two little girls showed no remorse or sorrow Friday during a jailhouse interview.
Christopher Phelps, 35, resisted answering questions about the car crash that killed his girlfriend's oldest daughters: 5-year-old Mela Skye Torry and 4-year-old Laela Torry-Tooley.
Authorities say Phelps was intoxicated when he lost control and flipped an SUV down a ravine with the girls, their 17-month-old sister and mother inside.
The accident occurred about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday near 87th and Quest Streets.
Mela Skye and Laela were unrestrained in their seats. Authorities said the girls were ejected and crushed under the vehicle. Their younger sister, Bri'Elle Torry, escaped injury.
The girls' mother, Chanelle Torry, 28, remains in the hospital with fractured ribs and broken back bones.
Phelps is charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide and was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
In jail, Phelps was garbed in a fluorescent yellow jumpsuit — an indication that he was being kept in isolation on a behavioral health watch.
He said he is not suicidal.
“I'm the same guy I was yesterday,” he said. “I don't know how to be twisted or dangerous.”
Phelps said he was advised by an attorney not to comment on the accident, the events leading up to the crash or his emotions regarding the girls' deaths and his girlfriend's injuries.
“I don't want the impression to be that I don't care, but some questions I can't answer,” he said.
Torry told police she and Phelps were arguing at his house on Quest Street when she asked him to take her and the girls to their home.
She said she placed the girls in the SUV and had buckled up the youngest. But she didn't have time to put seat belts on the still-sleeping Mela Skye and Laela before Phelps began pulling out of his driveway, she said.
Torry said she got in the vehicle and asked Phelps to slow down and give her a chance to buckle up the other girls.
Douglas County sheriff's deputies said Phelps sped off, lost control of the vehicle less than a block away and flipped it into a ravine.
Phelps let down his guard for a moment as he recalled taking Torry's daughters to the Benson Days festival earlier this year.
“People came up to say how beautiful the girls are,” Phelps said, smiling.
That day, Mela Skye and Laela laughed and played and argued and fought, like sisters do, he said.
Phelps said he helped Torry with her daughters when he could. He and Torry had a good working partnership and many things in common despite past hardships.
“Chanelle knows how I feel” about the girls' deaths, he said.
Phelps said he was told that news reports painted him as “a villain” and “a monster” in connection with the fatal crash.
“I've done a lot for the community, for the area,” he said.
Phelps said he was a staff sergeant in the Air Force and remains an active reservist. He was involved in local clubs and organizations that give to the community and was active in local churches, he said.
“I'm a father, a hard worker, accomplished in life,” he said.
The accident was tragic “all the way around, regardless of how it started or ended or who did what,” Phelps said.
Torry's family members said a new donation fund has been set up in the girls' names at Wells Fargo Bank. They said a former account at Metro Credit Union should not be used.
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