SHEBOYGAN (WITI) — 76-year-old Ruby Klokow, the Sheboygan woman accused of killing her seven-month-old daughter Jeaneen 55 years ago, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder on Monday, February 25th. Following the plea, prosecutors recommended a sentence of 45 days in jail followed by ten years probation.
“We’ve been able to negotiate a very favorable recommendation, I think that almost goes without saying but we’re hopeful to get this over with,” said Kirk Obear, Klokow’s attorney.
Klokow was charged after her son came forward in 2008 with stories of horrific childhood abuse, including allegations that his mother kicked him with steel-toed boots so often that he still has knee problems.
According to the criminal complaint, Klokow confessed to police in 2010 that she “threw a crying Jeaneen into a couch with the infant bouncing onto the floor. After leaving the child downstairs, Klokow returned to find Jeaneen “whimpering on the floor” and found a “soft spot on her head.”
Despite the confession, District Attorney Joe DeCecco worries it would’ve been hard to get a conviction.
“You’ve got a 76-year-old person who looks like everybody’s grandma, you don’t see the 21-year-old that was doing what she did,” said DeCecco.
The other issue would be trying someone for second-degree murder — a charge that no longer exists in Wisconsin.
“We had to go in the archives just to find the applicable statutes, then we had to find the statute of limitations to make sure there was no statute of limitations, we had to find jury instructions for back then,” said DeCecco.
Although the prosecution and defense have agreed on a sentence for Klokow, the judge will have the final say. Klokow is scheduled to be sentenced Monday, April 15th.