EL RENO, Okla. — A Canadian County jury took less than three hours to find John and Sonja Kluth guilty on almost all the counts against them.
The Yukon couple were each facing six counts: one count of child abuse and one count of child neglect for each of their three adopted children.
The jury found them guilty on all twelve counts, except for one count of child neglect against their adopted daughter for John Kluth.
The jury recommended ten years in prison on each of his other five counts.
But they came down harder on Sonja Kluth, recommending life in prison for just one of her counts of child abuse against their oldest adopted son.
This case came to light in November of 2010 when the oldest son ran away from home and was found sleeping in a box behind a Braum’s in Oklahoma City.
He told authorities the abuse was so bad, he didn’t want to go back home.
In a case they’re calling the worst they’ve ever seen, prosecutors said the Kluths beat, burned and strangled their children, forced them to sleep in cellars and dog crates, and made them eat dog and cat food.
The couple had nothing to say as they were led in handcuffs from the courtroom to the jail.
The children’s current foster parents were present in the courtroom as the verdict was read.
“The kids are doing well, all things considered. And that’s another aspect of the case that I’d like to just make a brief mention of. The kids did an outstanding job of testifying and it was truly our honor to stand in court and ask for justice on their behalf,” said Mike Fields.
Fields said they were pleased with the verdict.
The judge set sentencing for July 24th.