Moline woman pleads guilty in 2020 death of disabled son

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:32 AM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND Co., Ill. (KWQC) - A Moline woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 15-year-old son in 2020 pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser charge.

Rock Island County court records show Jennifer Renae Keim, 35, pleaded guilty to criminal abuse, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison.

She will be sentenced Dec. 5. Keim remains free on bond, court records show.

Moline officers were contacted on Nov. 3, 2020, by the emergency department of a local hospital after Joseph “J.J.” Hammond Jr., who was severely disabled, was taken to the facility for emergency care, police said.

Police said hospital staff found Hammond to be extremely dehydrated, emaciated, and had severe open wounds that had not been adequately treated.

He went into cardiopulmonary arrest and later died at the hospital and the police department, Rock Island County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services launched an investigation.

The investigation included numerous interviews, consultations with medical professionals, and an in-depth examination of the child’s medical records and past medical treatment, according to police.

Police said the investigation found a consistent pattern of medical and physical neglect, which led to Hammond’s death. An autopsy determined he died from complications from chronic malnutrition and dehydration due to underlying physical neglect.

Keim was arrested in March 2021. She was released from the Rock Island County Jail in September 2021 after posting $50,000, court records show.

Her husband, Justin Keim, 34, was charged in March 2021 with criminal abuse or neglect of a disabled person, a Class 2 felony.

He has a pretrial conference Oct. 13 and also remains free on bond.

Keim, 32, is charged with Criminal Abuse or Neglect of a Disabled Person.
Keim, 32, is charged with Criminal Abuse or Neglect of a Disabled Person.(Moline PD/KWQC)