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Probation for man who broke baby's arm

AUSTIN — A Glenville man accused of breaking the arm of a 10-month-old was sentenced last week to five years probation and 80 hours of sentence to service.

Joshua Robert Kluender, 28, pleaded guilty in March in Mower County District Court to one count of malicious punishment of a child, a felony.

He received a statutory stay of adjudication, which means the defendant pleads guilty, but the court doesn't "accept" the plea. When probation and its conditions are successfully completed, the charges are dismissed and the defendant's criminal record doesn't reflect a conviction. The arrest record remains.

In addition to the sentence to service, Kluender was also ordered to complete a chemical assessment.

The investigation began July 3, 2014, when a doctor contacted Austin police to report possible child abuse.


The child's mother had brought her to the emergency room the day before, stating the little girl's arm was swollen and she wasn't moving it. The child was diagnosed with a fracture to the outside knob of the humerus bone, near the elbow.

The woman said she'd left the baby with Kluender the morning of July 2. About 20 minutes later, he called her, but she didn't answer. He called again five minutes later, the complaint says, and asked the woman if the child had hurt her arm that morning because she was "babying her right arm."

The child had been fine when her mother left, she told investigators.

Kluender said the little girl had been crying since the woman left, and refused to eat breakfast. He took her out of the high chair and began fixing her a bottle when she "fell on the linoleum," Kluender told the woman.

According to the medical report, the "high velocity" injury is a common fracture in children 3 years of age and older, a result of holding out their arms to brace a fall while running.

The doctor told authorities it was impossible for a child of the victim's age and abilities to sustain such an injury in the manner Kluender described, court documents say.

In a child of her age, the fracture can be caused by dragging, snapping, pulling or jerking to hyper-extend the elbow, or by someone else hitting the elbow.

The doctor also said a bone scan indicated a second, healing fracture on the child's left arm.

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