Warning: Details in this article are disturbing.
Bail has been set for two adults and a teen arrested in the death of a 7-year-old Wisconsin boy who was allegedly beaten, forced to carry around a heavy log and was buried in snow.
Damian Hauschultz, 15, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Ethan Hauschultz, 7. He had cash bail set at $150,000 Monday. The Herald Times Reporter says bail for Timothy Hauschultz was set at $100,000 and for Tina McKeever-Hauschultz at $75,000. They were Ethan’s court-appointed guardians.
The Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office says Ethan, of Newton, died on April 18.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death to be hypothermia and blunt force injuries to the head, chest and abdomen.
“The allegations in these criminal complaints is troubling, to say the least,” Judge Jerilyn Dietz said, according to WBAY.
Sheriff’s investigators say, over the course of an hour or an hour-and-a-half, Ethan was hit, kicked, poked, repeatedly shoved to the ground, and a heavy log was rolled across his chest by Damian Hauschultz, who was 14 at the time. The older boy “stood on (Ethan’s) body and head while Ethan was face-down in a puddle. He ultimately buried Ethan completely in snow.”
Ethan was rushed to the hospital, where he died, despite life-saving efforts by medical staff.
Ethan and his siblings were put into the Hauschultz home in 2017. The siblings told police that Timothy Hauschultz would often punish them by making them walk laps around the yard carrying heavy logs. The siblings said that the week of Ethan’s death, they had to carry wood for two hours a day for not knowing their Bible verses.
Damian Hauschultz told police he was angry because the younger children were dropping the wood every five minutes. When Ethan became unresponsive, he said he thought the boy was just resisting, so he buried Ethan under packed snow and ice.
Investigators asked Damian Hauschultz how much snow was covering Ethan. The teen replied by saying Ethan “was in his own little coffin of snow.” He then laughed, according to a criminal complaint.
Damian Hauschultz told investigators that his home had become “boring” after Ethan came to live with them and he was angry that they took the fun out of his life.
In addition to first-degree reckless homicide, Damian Hauschultz is charged with physical abuse of a child intentionally causing bodily harm, and substantial battery.
Timothy Hauschultz is charged with party to the crimes of felony murder, intent to contribute to the delinquency of a child resulting in death, physical abuse of a child intentionally causing bodily harm, and misdemeanor battery.
McKeever-Hauschultz was charged with being party to the crimes of contributing to the delinquency of a child resulting in death and failing to act to prevent bodily harm to a child, according to KNOE.