Yukon Couple Accused Of Beating, Burning Kids Now Free On Bond

Thursday, February 24th 2011, 7:21 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

YUKON, Oklahoma -- Many are outraged a judge set a bond of $9,000 each for a Yukon couple accused of horrible child abuse.

John and Sonja Kluth have bonded out of jail. They are accused of abusing their three adopted children. Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards said he could not understand why the bond was set so low. He said he was told the judge did not see the Kluths as a flight risk, but Edwards disagreed.

"I can just tell you there are no vehicles at the property today, the U-Haul trucks gone, and so is a lot of their personal property," Edwards said.

Deputies arrested the Kluths after a long, intensive three-month investigation. It started after one of the couple's adopted children ran away. In November 2010, a worker at a Braums store on Northwest Expressway near Council found the bruised, malnourished boy sitting in a box near the trash.

"I went to go try to move the box and I thought, 'Well, it's heavy.' I was thinking, hopefully, there's not a body in there," Carla Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall said she was horrified after hearing the boy's story, and what the Kluths are accused of doing to him and his younger brother and sister.

"I said did somebody beat you up? And he said no, and I said it looks like somebody beat you up.  And he said, no, nobody beat me up.  He kept asking, 'What's going to happen to me now?'" Mendenhall said.

Court papers stated John and Sonja Kluth beat and burned the children at their rural Yukon home, kept them locked outside in a storm cellar, and forced them to eat dog and cat food. The children are currently in state custody. The couple adopted the children -- who are currently nine, 11 and 15 years old -- when they lived in Wisconsin. They received $4,500 per month to care for them.

John Kluth is a mail carrier.  The U.S. Postal Service released a statement confirming Kluth is an employee, but is not currently carrying mail.

The Kluths are scheduled to be back in court in March.

More: Yukon Parents Accused of Child Abuse, Feeding Children Dog, Cat Food