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Moline mother sentenced in death of 15-year-old disabled son from November 2020

Jennifer Keim was charged after the death of her "severely disabled" son in Nov. 2020

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — During a Jan. 20 hearing, a Rock Island County judge sentenced Jennifer Keim, 36, of Moline, to four years of probation in relation to the death of her 15-year-old son in November 2020.

Authorities arrested Keim in March 2021 after a four-month-long investigation into her son's death. The Moline Police Department was contacted after the "severely disabled" boy was transported to a hospital for emergency care. 

Hospital staff found the child had been "extremely dehydrated, emaciated and had severe open wounds that had not been properly treated."

Related: QC mother accused of murdering disabled teen son pleads guilty to lesser charge

On Friday, Keim was sentenced to the four years of probation and 180 days in the Rock Island County jail but was given credit for the time she had served after her arrest. She was also ordered to pay court costs.

"It's been terrible," Keim's attorney Jon Ruud  said after the sentencing. "The deck was stacked against [her son]. I mean it's a miracle that I mean honestly he lived this long. She did everything she could, she did it the best she could, and its tragic, but removing her from her family at this point would have been even worse."

Keim had originally been charged with first-degree murder but the charge was pled down to one count of criminal abuse. 

Justin Keim, the child's stepfather, hasn't submitted a plea in the case. He was charged with criminal abuse or neglect of a disabled person in March 2021. Justin has a status hearing set for Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.

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