May 1, 2013

Wis. mom gets up to 10 years for baby's 1957 death

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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This undated file photo provided by the Sheboygan County, Wis., Sheriff shows Ruby Klokow. Klowkow, 76, convicted of killing her baby more than 50 years ago, was sentenced Wednesday, May 1, 2013, to prison for up to 10 years. (AP Photo/Sheboygan County Sheriff, File)

Eventually Klokow was led weeping from the courtroom. Supporters who reached out to touch her were nudged away by deputies.

Klokow's case was delayed several times after she was charged in 2011. Her mental-health status was in question but a judge ultimately decided she was competent to assist in her defense.

An initial autopsy found that Jeaneen suffered two brain hemorrhages, a partially collapsed lung and three scalp bruises. However the death was ruled accidental.

The baby's death haunted Jeaneen's older brother, James Klokow Jr., now 57. He says he grew up traumatized because his mother always told him he was to blame for his baby sister's death because the girl fell while Ruby Klokow was distracted by his misbehavior.

James Klokow eventually told police in 2008 of abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother. He told investigators she often beat and choked him and kicked him with steel-toed boots. He said his mother broke his arm and nose, and described how she covered the head of his mentally challenged younger brother, Bruce, and struck the wailing boy's toes one by one with a hammer.

Obear said those events either never happened or that Klokow's now-deceased husband was the actual abuser.

Before his mother's sentencing, James Klokow read a tearful statement to the judge

"My mother killed my baby sister," he said, his voice cracking. "She did not cherish her, she did not love her, she did not protect her. ... I feel my mother should get 20 years in prison."

In addition to Jeaneen, James and Bruce, Klokow had a fourth child, Scott, who died as a baby. His body was disinterred along with Jeaneen's as police investigated but his death couldn't be considered suspicious.

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