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UPDATED: Father of Starved Girl Sentenced

A former Holloman Air Force sergeant whose daughter withered away from malnutrition and dehydration while his wife spent hours online has been sentenced to three years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales says 35-year-old Derek Wulf was sentenced by a federal court in Las Cruces on Wednesday after pleading guilty to child abuse in December of 2009.

His ex-wife, Rebecca Colleen Christie, was sentenced last month to 25 years in prison for the Jan. 26, 2006, death of their 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Brandi.

According to court documents, Christie spent 15 hours the day the girl died on the computer chatting with friends from the online fantasy role-playing game, World of Warcraft.

Wulf is a technical sergeant in the United States Air Force who now lives in Montgomery, Alabama.


May 23, 2011 — Woman Sentenced in Daughter’s Starvation Death

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says a 28-year-old woman was sentenced Monday in federal court in Las Cruces to 25 years in prison for killing her 3-year-old daughter at Holloman Air Force Base.

A jury convicted Rebecca Christie in November 2009 of second-degree murder and child abuse in the January 2006 starvation death of Brandi Wulf.

Christie’s former husband, Sgt. Derek Wulf, was charged with abuse of a child resulting in death. He pleaded guilty in December 2009 to child abuse not resulting in death. Wulf acknowledged neglecting his daughter’s health and not adequately monitoring her medical and nutritional needs.

Prosecutors say Wulf could get up to three years in prison when he’s sentenced next month.


Nov. 12, 2009 — Mother Convicted of Child’s Death at Holloman in 2006; Woman was accused of playing computer games while child starved to death.

A U.S. District Court jury this week convicted Rebecca Christie in the death of her 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Brandi Wulf, at Holloman Air Force Base on Jan. 26, 2006, the Las Cruces Sun-News is reporting.

Christie and her former husband, Air Force Sgt. Derek Wulf, were initially indicted together on second-degree murder charges in March 2007, but federal prosecutors later boosted the charge to first-degree murder, triggering a possible federal death penalty prosecution in December 2007, according to an earlier Albuquerque Journal report.

The death penalty eventually was dropped, and the parents were indicted separately in August — Christie charged with second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death and Wulf with child abuse resulting in death, the Sun-News said.

Brandi Wulf died of malnutrition and severe dehydration in a filthy home, while Christie, who was a military dependent living on Holloman Air Force Base, was so absorbed in the computer game World of Warcraft that she neglected the child, according to Journal reports.

According to court documents, the house was filled with cat feces, moldy food and unwashed dishes when the child was taken to an Alamogordo hospital emergency room with severe dehydration, the Journal reported.

Although doctors tried to administer fluids, the child died soon after arriving at the hospital, court records said.

After charges were filed, Christie and Wulf divorced, and she married a sergeant with two children from his previous marriage, and in March 2008 she gave birth to a child with a rare genetic disorder that requires feeding through a tube, according to a Journal report.

At a hearing in Las Cruces earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Robert Brack ordered that Christie have no unsupevised contact with her child or have legal control over her, the Journal said.