MANITOWOC (WLUK) – MANITOWOC (WLUK) – A 7-year-old boy was beaten, forced to carry around a 44-pound log, and was buried in the snow before he died last year.
Now, a 15-year-old boy and two adults have been charged with the murder of Ethan Hauschultz.
Damian Hauschultz, 15, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide and six other charges. Although age 15, in Wisconsin, juveniles charged with certain homicide counts are handled in adult court.
Damian’s father, Timothy Hauschultz, 48, is charged with felony murder and five other charges.
Tina McKeever-Hauschultz, 35, is charged with failing to prevent bodily harm, and intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a child.
All three are expected to make initial court appearances Monday in Manitowoc County court.
According to the criminal complaint:
Timothy Hauschultz and Tina Hauschultz were the court-appointed guardians for Ethan Hauschultz and two of his siblings. The complaint does not indicate if or how they are related.
Timothy Hauschultz ordered Ethan Hauschultz to be punished by carrying a heavy wooden log, weighing 44 pounds (about two-thirds of the boy’s body weight), for two hours around a pre-determined path in a snowy area outside their home. Damian was instructed to supervise the punishment.
As Ethan struggled to carry the log, Damian allegedly hit, kick, struck and poked Ethan about 100 times – sometimes using a belt or a stick. Damian rolled the heavy log across Ethan’s chest, stood on him while Ethan was face down in a puddle, and then burying him in a snowbank for more than 20 minutes without a coat or boots on.
Damian also repeatedly struck Ethan’s twin, who was also ordered to undergo the punishment, according to the complaint.
Ethan died of hypothermia, but also had extensive other injuries, including blunt force injuries to his head, chest and abdomen, and a rib fracture, the medical examiner determined, the complaint states.
In an interview with police, Damian stated he “didn’t do anything that would have hurt” Ethan. He estimated he hit Ethan 100 times. He also admitted to covering Ethan in snow, but knew Ethan had to breathe. He described Ethan as being covered “in his own little coffin of snow,” according to the complaint. The punishment was directed to be carried out by his father, Timothy, Damian said.
Damian said he had to carry wood for not knowing 13 Bible verses to Timothy’s satisfaction. The punishment was one week of carrying wood for two hours per day. Timothy picked out the logs, but Damian had to supervise the punishment for the younger children.
Timothy police the log walking was a form of discipline, but he was not home when the incident happened with Ethan. Damian had called him twice because Ethan wasn’t moving.
Tina was not quoted in the complaint. One of Ethan’s siblings said she is aware that Timothy uses this form of discipline.