Judgement reversed against former Abilene CPS worker convicted in fatal child abuse case

Abilene

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A former Abilene CPS worker has been deemed not guilty in connection to a fatal child abuse case after an appellate court recommended her previous judgement be reversed.

Gretchen Denny, convicted of Tampering with Evidence in April 2018 in connection to the death of 22-month-old Tamaryn Klapheke, had her guilty verdict in Taylor County amended to not guilty last week.

The 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland County issued their opinion on Denny’s case in March, concluding there was an “error in the judgment” and recommended she be acquitted.

Denny’s conviction was centered around a photograph taken of the deceased child after she and two other malnourished children were found in the home of Tiffany Klapheke on Dyess Air Force Base in 2012.

Jurors initially concluded Denny intentionally kept the photograph, which was taken by a police detective and sent to a CPS investigator, from police because she told the investigator to delete the photograph and not show anyone.

Appellate attorneys argued that Denny did not successfully conceal the photograph because it was in police custody the entire time and that she could not have even attempted to conceal it because it was easily accessed and shared.

To read the court’s full opinion as to why Denny’s case was recommended for acquittal, see the documents below:

Tiffany Klapheke was sentenced to 30 years in prison in February of 2014 on charges connected to the death of Tamryn and the abuse of her other two children.

Another CPS worker was also charged in connection to Tamaryn’s death but her charges were dropped in 2018 before her case went to court.

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