Jury Convicts Yukon Couple Of Child Abuse


Monday, June 18th 2012, 10:42 pm
By: News 9


A Canadian County jury delivered guilty verdicts Monday night for the Yukon couple accused of abusing their three adopted children.

After three hours of deliberation, jurors found Sonja Kluth guilty on all six counts of child abuse and neglect. The jury recommended the punishment of life for one count of child abuse and 25 years for each of the five remaining charges.

The jury also found John Kluth guilty of five counts of child abuse and neglect. The jury recommends he serve ten years for each.

During the six-day trial, jurors heard testimony from the three adopted children, as well as doctors, investigators, and a school teacher.

The Kluths also took the stand at times giving tearful testimonies when questioned about the abuse allegations.

During closing arguments, prosecutors reminded the jurors not to be distracted by the defendants' tears and instead focus on the testimony given by the children.

"The courage these children displayed," said Canadian County District Attorney Mike Fields. "Makes us proud to be able to seek justice on their behalf."

Prosecutors centered much of their case on the children's testimony that included the children describing the many ways they were abused. Some of the allegation included the children being put in dog crates, fed dog food, and smashed in the hand and feet with a mallet.

Police first uncovered the abuse when the oldest child ran away from the home and was discovered in a box behind a restaurant back in November 2010. The defense argued much of the injuries were accidents and the children were lying.

The defense attorney Bill James did not give comment on the case. The Kluths are both due back in court for sentencing at 1:30 p.m. on July 24.

6/12/2012 Related Story: Testimony Begins In Child Abuse Trial Of Yukon Couple

2/24/2011 Related Story: Yukon Couple Accused Of Beating, Burning Kids Now Free On Bond