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Tiffany Klapheke transported to state prison, attorneys file to withdraw from case

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 26 2014 10:20:12 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2014 10:59:16 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Tiffany Klapheke, 23, was released Wednesday from the Taylor County Jail to be transported to a prison within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system.

A six-man, six-woman jury convicted Klapheke of first-degree felony injury to a child by omission Feb. 13 for the Aug. 2012 death of her toddler, Tamryn. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison the following day. She faced up to life in prison but will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years of her 30-year sentence. According to court records, she has a jail credit of 534 days since she remained jailed since her arrest on Aug. 29, 2012.  

Jail records show Klapheke was released Wednesday.

"A Taylor County Sheriff's Office extradition officer transported Tiffany Klapheke to the TDCJ Woodman Unit in Gatesville, this morning [Wednesday]," Lt. John Cummins said. "She arrived there around noon, and was turned over to prison authorities. "

A spokeswoman with the TDCJ Public Information Office told KTXS that inmates are typically transferred to the Gatesville unit before their permanent placement is determined. That process could take up to one week.

Following Klapheke’s request, her attorneys John Young and George Parnham filed a joint motion to withdraw from her case.

KTXS obtained a copy of the motion which reads: “Defendant has withdrawn authority for counsel to act on her behalf and has requested that Attorney’s be permitted to withdraw.”

Young told KTXS the motion is typical after cases go to trial and there are no hard feelings between Klapheke and her attorneys.

Klapheke still has the right to obtain independent counsel, even if court-appointed, to review her case; however, a motion for a new trial or a notice for an appeal must be filed by March 15.

Following the announcement of Klapheke’s 30-year prison sentence, Young and Parnham stood side-by-side as Parnham expressed intent to appeal Klapheke’s conviction.

When KTXS asked Yong on Wednesday whether that has changed, Young said it has and, in his opinion, it does not seem likely that Klapheke will seek an appeal at all.

“She knows that she has a 30-year sentence, she knows that there's a strong likelihood that she will get some medical and psychological/psychiatric treatment within the programs of the department of corrections,” Young said. “She knows that if an appeal were successful that she'd have to go through another trial and it's likely that her family could not afford to hire lawyers in a subsequent trial and those are all factors that go into the decision of whether or not to seek an appeal. My belief is that she will not ask the court to appoint lawyers on appeal.”

KTXS reached out to Parnham’s office in Houston for comment; however, a secretary said Parnham was in court and the call was not returned Wednesday.

A hearing on the withdrawal motion has not yet been set. Young said he expects it will be granted.

“I talked to her [Klapheke] last week and she was in very good spirits,” Young said. “She understands the journey ahead of her - but in understanding that journey also recognizing that she has an opportunity to get better. She has an opportunity to get treatment and she has an opportunity to better herself.”