Doctor Pleads Guilty in Bed-Chaining Death

A retired doctor pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the death of his brother, an alcoholic who was asphyxiated while he was chained to his bed to keep him from drinking.

Dr. Merle Rydesky (search) of Orchard Lake had been charged with murder and kidnapping, both of which carried a maximum penalty of life in prison. He remained free on a $50,000 bond after entering his plea Monday.

He now faces up to 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for July 25.

Defense attorney David Cripps (search) said Rydesky, 65, was trying to keep his brother James, 57, sober for five days last summer so he could place him in an alcohol treatment center.

James Rydesky (search) was found dead in the basement of his Dearborn home with a 32-foot chain around his neck, connected to a bed. Prosecutors said he either fell or became entangled while trying to escape and was asphyxiated.

"It's a bizarre way for a retired emergency room physician to help his brother stop drinking," Dearborn police Detective Sgt. Gary Marchetti said.

The defense had suggested the death might have been a suicide.

Rydesky chaired the emergency department at Providence Hospital in Southfield for 20 years until his 2004 retirement.