Klapheke Case: Dyess could announce decision on airman charged in child death case next week

ABILENE, Texas - The decision on whether a Dyess airman will face court martial, in connection to a child neglect case, could come as early as next week, according to Dyess Air Force Base officials.

Senior Airman Christopher Perez, 23, is charged with child endangerment, failing to report child abuse or neglect and adultery under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in relation to the Aug. 28 death of 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke.

A Nov. 19 preliminary military hearing revealed Perez was 22-year-old Tiffany Klapheke's live-in boyfriend at the time of Tamryn's death. 

A preliminary autopsy report showed Tamryn died of severe malnourishment, dehydration and even suffered chemical burns from her own waste. Her sisters Tatum and Taberlee had to be hospitalized due to similar neglect.

A Taylor County Grand Jury indicted Klapheke three felony counts of injury to a child Dec. 13.

The hearing also revealed Klapheke would frequently lock her children in their bedrooms and their Dyess home was covered in animal and human waste.

Lt. Col. Sandra Kent, who oversaw the hearing, submitted her recommendation about Perez to 7th Bomb Wing Commander Col. Glen VanHerck Dec. 6.

VanHerck could announce his decision on whether Perez will face court martial as early as next week, according to Dyess Spokeswoman Lt. Nicole Ferrara.

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