KLAPHEKE CASE: Defense makes change of venue motion during Dyess airman's arraignment

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - The defense for a Dyess airman implicated in the Klapheke child neglect-death case made a motion Tuesday for a change of venue due to pretrial publicity.

No ruling has yet been made on the change of venue request for the trial of Senior Airman Christopher Perez, 23, who is charged with child endangerment, adultery and dereliction of duty (i.e. allegedly failing to obey an order or regulation) under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Charges against Perez stem from his alleged involvement in the home of Dyess mother Tiffany Klapheke, 22, who is in the Taylor County Jail on child injury charges after her toddler, Tamryn, was found dead in their home on base in August. 

According to witness testimony at Perez's Article 32 hearing in October, Perez was living in the Klapheke home at the time of the toddler's death while Tiffany's husband, Thomas, was deployed.

Perez was scheduled to face a general court-martial Tuesday. However, Col. Donald Eller – the military judge who will oversee the trial – granted a continuance for additional forensic analysis of electronic media.

In addition Tuesday, the defense said it wants additional forensic analysis off of Tiffany Klapheke's cellphone.

Abilene police did own analysis to extract text messages from her phone, but the defense believes extra evidence exists that Abilene police didn't extract. The defense also would like photos off of her phone.

No estimation was made Tuesday as to how long that will take, but a 9 a.m., March 25 status conference has been set. A new trial date could also be set by then.


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