MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 76-year-old woman accused of killing her infant daughter more than 55 years ago in southern Wisconsin has reached a plea agreement, prosecutors said Thursday.
Ruby Klokow, who was scheduled to go on trial Monday, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jeaneen after her son Jim Klokow Jr. came forward in 2008 with stories of horrific childhood abuse.
Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco released a statement Thursday announcing that a resolution had been reached, but said he couldn't provide details ahead of a plea hearing Monday.
Klokow's attorney didn't immediately return a call and email Thursday.
Jim Klokow Jr., now 57, said Thursday he had mixed feelings on the developments. Though he had hoped a trial would reveal more details about his sister's death, he was also relieved.
"I don't have to worry about her turning and questioning me on the stand," Klokow, of Sheboygan, said in an interview.
He also detailed some of the things he mentioned to police, including how his mother regularly beat him and choked him. He also said she kicked him in the knees with steel-toed boots and that he has still has knee problems. He also described how his mother would strike his brother's toes with a hammer.
Klokow said he would lie to teachers about bruises on his body and choke marks on his neck. He said she threw scissors and knives at him in the corner and even blamed him for his sister's death.
"You can't imagine standing in the corner all day when Mom said you killed your baby sister," he said.
Klokow said that for a long time he thought all kids were abused. He didn't come forward as an adult because he thought it was too late.
"I didn't know if I could prove it until I start watching these shows where they do forensic files," he said.
He said he also had post-traumatic stress disorder as a teen. He attributes the blindness in his eye from his mother's abuse.
"I couldn't be a kid form the time I was born until I ran away when I was 13 years old," he said.
After that, he and his mentally challenged brother were put in a foster home, where they were also abused, he said. He then was put in group homes until he was 18 and his brother was put into state-run mental facilities, he said.
He said he eventually wants to start trust fund in his sister's name and give the proceeds to help other abused children. He also hopes to write a book one day.
In an interview with investigators, Ruby Klokow admitted causing the girl's death and told investigators she was sorry, according to the criminal complaint.
DeCecco's statement listed the girl as 9 months old at the time of her death. Her brother said she was 6 months old.
The case has been delayed several times since she was charged in 2011. She had to undergo mental tests to see if she was competent to stand trial. A judge ultimately ruled she was. There also had been previous attempts at plea agreements.
Ruby Klokow's sister, Judy Post, has said Klokow regularly abused her when they were children, and she said she once watched Klokow toss her baby daughter to the ground. She said Thursday she doesn't want her sister to go to prison and that she would rather God decide what happens to her when she dies.
"I do forgive her because ... if you don't forgive you're not going to be forgiven," she said.
Her son said he also forgives her because that's what the Bible advises, but "I won't forget." He hopes his mother gets life in prison.
"I don't want nothing to do with my mother anymore," he said. "I don't consider her my mother."