Court denies request to move Manitowoc boy death case to juvenile court

Wisconsin judge has ruled Damian Hauschultz will be tried in adult court for the death of a 7-year-old boy. (Source: WBAY)
Wisconsin judge has ruled Damian Hauschultz will be tried in adult court for the death of a 7-year-old boy. (Source: WBAY)(NBC15)
Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 10:04 AM CST
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A Manitowoc County Court has denied the request of a teen charged in the death of a Manitowoc boy to juvenile court.

On Jan. 9, the court ruled that Damian Hauschultz, 16, has not met the burden to move the case to juvenile court. The case was retained to Manitowoc County Circuit Court and a hearing was scheduled for Jan. 30.

Hauschultz is charged with 1st Degree Reckless Homicide, Child Abuse and Substantial Battery for the April 20, 2018, death of 7-year-old Ethan Hauschultz.

Damian's parents, Timothy and Tina, are also charged in the case.

Criminal complaints filed in the case state 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."

Timothy and Tina, Ethan's court-appointed guardians, took Ethan to a hospital where he died after life-saving efforts by medical staff.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office determined Ethan died from hypothermia and blunt force injuries to his head, chest and abdomen.

Ethan and his siblings were put in the Hauschultzes' care in 2017. The siblings told investigators Timothy Hauschultz frequently punished them by making them walk laps around the yard carrying heavy logs.

Damian Hauschultz told investigators he was frustrated because the younger boys were dropping the wood every 5 minutes. When Ethan became unresponsive, he thought the boy was just resisting, so he buried him under what he estimated was 80 pounds of packed snow and ice. Deputies say Ethan weighed 60 pounds.

Investigators asked Damian how much snow was covering Ethan. Damian replied by saying Ethan "was in his own little coffin of snow." He then laughed, according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators described Damian Hauschultz as emotional during an interview when he said his home had become "boring" and "prison-like" after Ethan and his brother came to live with them, and he was always angry after they took all the fun out of his life.

The case has inspired lawmakers to act. State Sen. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) tells Action 2 News that "Ethan's Law" would prevent the placement of a child into the care of a non-parent with a criminal record of violence or abuse.

After learning Timothy Hauschultz had a lengthy criminal record of violence and abuse when Ethan was placed in his home, Jacque proposed changing the law.

"He was placed with somebody who should not have been entrusted with his care. I mean, there were red flags all over the place," says Sen. Jacque.

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