ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A former Abilene CPS supervisor charged in connection to the fatal Tiffany Klapheke child abuse case is trying to get her charge dismissed.
Randy Wilson, the attorney for Martha “Bit” Whitaker, has filed a “Motion to Set Aside Indictment for Failure to Afford Constitutional Right to Speedy Trial”, citing the 6th and 14th amendments to the United States Constitution, which reference the right to a speedy trial and due process.
Whitaker was charged with Tampering With/Fabricating Physical Evidence two years after Tamryn Klapheke, 22 months, was found deceased at a home on Dyess Air Force Base in 2012. Two other kids that were neglected and malnourished were removed from the home.
Court documents say Whitaker “did intentionally and knowingly alter or conceal . . . Child Protective Services documents detailing the investigation of the Klapheke children and/or medical records of the Klapheke children and/or Dyess Family Advocacy office records of the Klapheke children, with intent to impair its availability as evidence in the investigation”.
Whitaker was indicted for her charge connected to the Klapheke case on July 17, 2014, and was not arrested until July 26, 2014.
The motion filed by Randy Wilson claims, “she had no notice of pending charges until her indictment almost two years after the alleged crime.”
The motion also states that there have been four pre-trial hearings for Whitaker’s case since October of 2014, and her jury trial has been rescheduled four times, with further delays still pending because, “in July of 2016, [Whitaker] was advised that the court had released the present prosecutor in this case, and she would be seeking a new prosecutor, and could not set a new jury trial date,” according to the motion.
Another CPS worker, Gretchen Denny, has also been charged with Tampering With/Fabricating Physical Evidence for the same reason as Whitaker. The same prosecutor was overseeing Denny’s case as well, so she also has not been to trial.
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.
Klapheke’s then-boyfriend, Senior Airman Perez, is scheduled for a re-trial at Dyess Air Force Base on October 11, 2016. He was originally sentenced to three years of confinement for adultery and three counts of child endangerment.
BigCountryHomepage is following the developments with Whitaker, Denny, and Perez closely. Check back for the latest.