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Ironworker Accuses Family of Holding Him Prisoner

February 19, 1986|Associated Press

VERSAILLES, Ky. — An ironworker's wife and two teen-age children were in jail today on criminal charges after he told authorities they tied him to a basement bed for two months, poured cold water on him and turned on a fan in hopes he would catch pneumonia.

James Kimberl, 47, said his family drugged him last Dec. 3 and tied him to the bed. He said they fed him once a day, didn't bathe him for seven or eight weeks, occasionally prevented him from using a bedpan and kept him blindfolded most of the time.

He said he escaped Feb. 7.

On Tuesday, Woodford District Judge J. Craig Bradley sent the case to a grand jury after the children, Kimberly, 19, and James E. Kimberl Jr., 18, testified at a preliminary hearing that they planned to leave their father tied to the bed and move to Florida.

The mother, Shirley, 40, has been charged with kidnaping and attempted murder. The son and daughter are charged with conspiracy to kidnap.

The children said their mother asked them to help hold their father prisoner so she could earn enough money as a motel housekeeper for the move. They denied trying to induce pneumonia.

Their mother did not testify at the hearing, but the family's lawyer said Kimberl had a drinking problem and mistreated the family.

A third child, 20-year-old Kathy, was not accused by her father, who said she did not take part in the kidnaping. She lived at home with her infant child during the time Kimberl was allegedly held prisoner, authorities said, and fed him while the others weren't home.

Kathy Kimberl told her father's co-workers and others who called that he had run away, the detective said.

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