ABILENE, Texas (AP) — A military judge has refused to change the venue of the court martial for a Dyess Air Force Base airman facing charges of neglecting a toddler who died.
The Abilene Reporter-News (http://bit.ly/1gIN75L ) reports that on Tuesday, the trial's first day, judge Col. Donald Eller refused the motion by the defense of Christopher Perez. Perez is charged with dereliction of duty, child endangerment and adultery.
The judge is expected to rule Wednesday on a motion to suppress evidence. Perez's defense questioned whether proper procedure was followed by the Abilene Police Department and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations when they questioned him. While the police are obligated to read Miranda rights to people who are arrested, different rules apply for military personnel.
At the time of the alleged offenses, Perez lived with Tiffany Klapheke (klah-PEEK'), the wife of airman Thomas Klapheke. Tiffany Klapheke has said her husband's deployment made her too stressed to take care of their three children, which led to the death of her 22-month-old daughter, Tamryn, from malnutrition and dehydration in August 2012. Upon his return, Thomas Klapheke filed for divorce.
Perez's attorneys have said he had little contact with the children and that he did not want to interfere with the way they were being raised.
Information from: Abilene Reporter-News, http://www.reporternews.com