A 76-year-old Wisconsin mother has been sentenced to jail in the 1957 murder of her infant daughter.
On Monday, Ruby Klokow entered a no contest plea to a second-degree murder charge stemming from the death of her 9-month-old daughter, Jeaneen. As part of an agreement, prosecutors have recommended that Klokow serve just 45 days in jail followed by a 10 year probation period.
According to The Greenbay Press Gazette, if they had gone forward with a jury trial, prosecutors would have been forced to try the defendant under 1957 law. If Klokow was found guilty of a lesser offense, her crime may have been nonpunishable under the statute of limitations.
Taking the risk of a trial and the woman’s age into consideration, Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco reported encouraged the plea agreement. Prior to jail sentence, the 76-year-old mother reportedly claimed remorse for the 1957 murder.
Klokow was not charged in 1957 for the death of her infant daughter. At the time, she told police that Jeaneen had suffered injuries after falling from a couch. The child’s death was subsequently ruled accidental.
WISN News writes that personal accounts of devastating child abuse suffered by James Klokow, Jr., prompted investigators to reopen the case.
Coming forward to police in 2008, James revealed the terrible ongoing abuse he and his siblings suffered as children. Now 57, James holds the firm belief that his mother was responsible for Jeaneen’s death.
According to James, his mother would routinely beat, choke, and kick him, causing several broken bones. He has recounted one occasion when his mother used steel-toed boots to kick his knees and another where she allegedly threw knives at him.
James says he remembers Ruby Klokow using a hammer to hit the toes of her son Scott, who was reportedly discovered dead in his crib seven years following Jeaneen’s killing. Prosecutors have not filed charges in relation to the second child’s death.
Ruby Klokow is currently free on bail pending her official sentencing in April.
Do you think 45 days was an appropriate jail sentence for a 76-year-old mother who admits to the 1957 murder of her infant daughter?