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Klapheke can't get fair trial in Taylor County, defense lawyers say

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Aug 04 2013 06:32:58 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 27 2014 03:39:51 PM CST
Tiffany Klapheke

Tiffany Klapheke, 23, was arrested in August 2012 after she called 911 and first responders found her toddler – Tamryn – unresponsive on Dyess Air Force Base.

She is charged with first-degree felony injury to a child. If convicted, she could be sentenced from five to 99 years – or life – in prison.

ABILENE, Texas -

Two Abilene criminal defense lawyers testified Friday that media coverage has been so inflammatory and prejudicial against ex-Dyess Air Force Base mother Tiffany Klapheke that she can’t get a fair trial in Taylor County.

But six prosecution witnesses said Klapheke, 22, can be treated fairly.

Klapheke is charged with injury to a child after her toddler, Tamryn, was found unresponsive inside their home on base in August 2012. According to an autopsy, Tamryn suffered severe malnourishment, dehydration and chemical burns from her own waste. Her surviving sisters suffered similar injuries.

The change of venue hearing was held in 104th District Court under Judge Lee Hamilton.

Hamilton will consider the evidence presented Friday and then a second hearing, which will include closing arguments, will be held. A date for the next hearing has not been set.

Criminal defense lawyers David Defoore and Devin Coffey said they didn't believe Klapheke could get fair and impartial jurors.

Klapheke wore glasses and was cuffed. She wore jail clothes.

District Attorney James Eidson is the prosecutor. David Thedford is Klapheke's attorney.

The previous story:

A motion for a transfer of venue hearing is set for Friday in the case of ex-Dyess Air Force Base mother Tiffany Klapheke.

Klapheke, 22, is charged with injury to a child after her toddler, Tamryn, was found unresponsive inside their home on base in August 2012. According to an autopsy, Tamryn suffered severe malnourishment, dehydration and chemical burns from her own waste. Her surviving sisters suffered similar injuries.

The hearing -- which could potentially change the venue of Klapheke’s upcoming trial -- is set for 9 a.m. Friday in the 104th District Court under Judge Lee Hamilton. District Attorney James Eidson is listed as the prosecutor.