A man’s body was found in burning trunk and his wife and stepson will stand trial.
Beatrice Flint-Tennyson, 68 of Farmington Hills, and her son, Delbert Flint, 47 of St. Joseph, Missouri, the wife and stepson of a Farmington Hills, Michigan, Chrysler employee who was murdered in 2016 have been ordered to stand trial for his death.
Police indicated the body of Darvin Tennyson, 60, was found in the trunk of a burning car in Detroit on March 30, 2016. He hadn’t been seen since he returned home from work at Chrysler eleven days prior to the discovery, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, and had been reported missing.
Detroit police and firefighters responded to reports of a “loud explosion” and Ford Fusion in flames. “Firefighters discovered an unidentified male in the trunk of a car while extinguishing the fire,” the prosecutor’s office reported, adding, “The victim, later identified as Mr. Tennyson, was pronounced dead at the scene. Extensive investigation by the Detroit police and fire officials led to the identification and arrest of Defendants Flint-Tennyson and Flint.”
Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash
Flint-Tennyson was arraigned in Detroit on April 21 and placed behind bars. Flint was arraigned and remanded to jail two day later on Tuesday, April 23. Both were charged with “second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and disinterment/mutilation of a dead body,” according to court records.
During the preliminary exam, Tennyson’s friends and coworkers from Chrysler’s Trenton Engine Plant testified they “knew Tennyson and his wife fought over such things as bank accounts and Flint moving into their home.”
Tennyson had told at least one of his Chrysler co-workers, Dawson Smith, “He and the stepson never got along.” Smith testified, “Tennyson was mad at his living circumstances but never said anything about Flint threatening him.”
Jerry Taylor, a self-employed handyman, said “Tennyson contacted him to do some work a few months before his death. They started talking about Tennyson’s plans to redo some of the house for his stepson, ‘somebody who doesn’t even respect me.’” He also reportedly said, “If something happened to him, his wife and stepson should be considered suspicious.”
“He was kind of fearful,” Taylor said. “He said, ‘He’s a big guy. He’s bigger than you.’ He said, ‘If anything happens to me, look at my wife. You look at my son.’“
Darryl Kirby was another Chrysler coworker who testified that he would often invite Tennyson over for “barbecues and Super Bowl parties,” but normally he wouldn’t show. “He made good money because of the hours he was willing to work,” Kirby said, adding, “Darvin was that guy. He wouldn’t come because he was tired. If he had a day off, he pretty much wanted a day off.”
“He really did not want his stepson in that house,” Kirby also confirmed. “I know that there was a lot of words.”
Defense attorney, Cyril Hall, said “after reviewing the case” his client, Delbert Flint, is not “guilty of anything.”
“It’s horrible,” said Denise Norman, who trained Tennyson at Chrysler and was able to get to know him as the two worked alongside each other. “He was a lovely, caring person. No one deserves to be killed like that.”