Witness testifies Vogelsberg water boarded half-brother

30-year-old faces charges in death of Matthew Graville
Witness testifies Vogelsberg water boarded half-brother
Jeffrey Vogelsberg

A former roommate testified Wednesday that he witnessed Jeffrey Vogelsberg abusing his half-brother, Matthew Graville, multiple times.

The trial for Vogelsberg, 30, who is charged in the killing of Graville, in the summer of 2012, started Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Robert McCumber, who used to live with the brothers, broke down in tears describing times Vogelsberg abused Graville.

McCumber testified that Vogelsberg shot Graville with a BB gun, forced him to eat dog feces and mow the lawn in the summer while wearing winter clothes. He also testified that Vogelsberg water boarded Graville and would beat him with a PVC pipe and a 2×4 board.

“The defendant would tie Matthew to 2x4s attached to sawhorses, hold a towel over his face and pour water on the towel,” McCumber said.

Vogelsberg faces charges in the beating death of Graville, who was autistic, and burying his body near Lone Rock. He also faces charges for intimidating a witness, his grandfather, James Robar, who testified Tuesday.

Robar renovated his Fort Atkinson home so Graville could move there, and when Graville suddenly vanished, Robar repeatedly asked Vogelsberg where he went.

Prosecutors said the beating came after years of abuse.

The defense claims the two fought like any pair of brothers, and police should have looked at other suspects.

Vogelsberg faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted. The trial could last into next week.

McCumber also faces charges in the case for hiding the corpse, which is something he said Vogelsberg forced him to do.