The trial of a Texas mother whose 22-month-old daughter starved to death in 2012 began Wednesday.
Tiffany Klapheke, 23, is charged with injury to a child after her toddler Tamryn Klapheke was found dead in her squalid Abilene home.
Klapheke admitted she should have taken better care of the child, but she was too stressed over her husband’s overseas deployment to properly care for her three young children.
Tamryn, who died of malnutrition and dehydration, was just 17.5 pounds. She was found in a feces and urine-soaked crib. She also had chemical burns on her face and body indicating that human waste had been on her flesh for a long time.
Klapheke said she was frustrated with potty-training and left the toddler in a soiled crib for almost a week.
“I just got tired of always changing the sheets, so it was on there a little bit longer than it should have been,” she said.
Her attorney, George Parnham, said in his opening statement that she suffered in foster homes as a child. He also said Klapheke has a reactive attachment disorder, which occurs in children who have unhealthy attachment to parents due to neglect or abuse.
Air Force airman Thomas Klapheke, who was deployed in Oman at the time of Tamryn's death, later divorced his wife. He has temporary conservatorship of their children.
If convicted, she faces up to life in prison.