State News

Oct 15, 2013 4:59 PM

Court Martial Starts for Airman Accused of Child Neglect

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - Military officials say the court martial for a Dyess Air Force Base airman facing charges of neglecting a toddler who died started Tuesday with pretrial motions.

Military spokeswoman, 1st Lt. Nicole Ferrara, says jury selection is next in the trial of Christopher Perez on charges of dereliction of duty, child endangerment and adultery.

At the time of the alleged offenses Perez lived with Tiffany Klapheke, the wife of airman Thomas Klapheke. 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 from malnutrition and dehydration in August 2012. Upon his return Thomas Klapheke filed for divorce.

Perez's attorneys say he had little access to the children and avoided interfering with their upbringing.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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