An elderly Wisconsin woman was handed a 10-year prison sentence on Wednesday for a crime that she committed 56 years ago.
Ruby Klokow, 76, expected to get a sentence of 45 days for entering a no contest plea to the second-degree murder charge she received for killing her 6-month-old daughter, Jeaneen, in 1957. Instead, the judge gave her a decade in jail.
Judge Angela Sutkiewicz handed down the sentence. The case was originally ruled an accident, but it was reopened in 2008 after Klokow’s son, James, came forward with stories of child abuse, The Daily Mail reported.
According to James: "Before I went to junior high school my mom would grab me by the neck, bounce my head ... off the wall, punched me as hard as she could with her fist in the stomach. She would take her fist and hit my across the ears ... Believe me, I was hurting so bad that when I went to school, all I would do is stare."
Klokow’s attorney, Kirk Obear, was surprised by the sentence. “If we could do it all over again, we'd have a trial and we'd win,” Obear said.
The judge was likely swayed by a statement that James made prior to the sentencing. Addressing the court, he said: “My mother killed my baby sister. 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.”
James certainly got his point across.
"What happened to Jeaneen Klokow was no accident," said Judge Sutkiewicz. "It was caused by the defendant's reckless actions. Anything but incarceration would diminish the seriousness of the offense."
Even though she is supposed be behind bars until she is 86, that likely won’t happen. District attorney Joe DeCecco said she will likely be granted parole when she becomes eligible in two-and-a-half years.