CEDAR RAPIDS — A father pleaded guilty to four counts of child endangerment and was sentenced to probation last week.
Jeremiah Usher, 36, originally charged with one count of child endangerment causing bodily injury and three counts of child endangerment, pleaded guilty Aug. 31 in Linn County District Court to four aggravated misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and obstruction of emergency communications, a simple misdemeanor.
6th Judicial District Judge Andrew Chappell also sentenced Usher last week to two years of supervised probation. Usher must also pay $625 fine on each child endangerment charge and a $65 fine on the obstruction charge, along with supervision fees for probation.
The pending charges of first-degree arson, threats of arson and four counts of first-degree harassment were dismissed as part of plea agreement. In those charges he was accused of threatening to burn down his home while his children were inside.
Usher, in his plea on the child endangerment charges, admits to “creating substantial risk to the physical, mental or emotional health and safety” of his four children.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Rena Schulte said the children range in age from 5 to 14 at the time of the incidents. All four are in foster care.
Schulte wouldn’t go into many details regarding why she agreed to this plea, except to say the children have always been the first priority and she wanted to do what was in the best interests of the children.
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“Part of the agreement is a five-year no contact order barring the defendant from having any contact with the children and a judge may decide in the future to extend it” Schulte said.
The no contact order is in effect until August 2022.
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