PEOSTA, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa man accused of padlocking a weighted chain around his 14-year-old nephew’s waist has pleaded not guilty.
The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports that Jeffrey Merfeld and the boy’s parents are charged with child endangerment causing injury. Merfeld’s plea was submitted Tuesday.
Court records don’t show whether Michael and Cynthia Kobusch have submitted pleas. The records don’t list an attorney who could comment on their behalf.
All three defendants live in Peosta, 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines.
Court documents say Cynthia Kobusch told an investigator that she had been searching for a way to attach a GPS to her son — a frequent runaway — and had asked her brother to “make a chain” and fashion it so the boy couldn’t cut it off.
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