Uncle accused of chaining boy to weight pleads not guilty


April 27th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

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 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. All three defendants live in Peosta. 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.