Two adults and a 15-year-old boy were charged with murder in Wisconsin after a 7-year-old boy’s alleged punishment for failing to memorize Bible verses led to his death last year, according to FOX 11 News.
Ethan Hauschultz was forced to carry a 44-pound log for two hours in the snow, all the while being hit, poked and kicked by 15-year-old Damian Hauschultz, and was subsequently buried in a snowbank for more than 20 minutes — wearing no coat or boots.
Damian also "stood on (Ethan's) body and head while Ethan was face-down in a puddle. He ultimately buried Ethan completely in snow."
The young boy died of hypothermia but also sustained “extensive other injuries, including blunt force injuries to his head, chest and abdomen, and a rib fracture”, according to the medical examiner’s findings.
Damian admitted to police that he had struck Ethan about 100 times — sometimes using a belt or a stick — but insisted he “didn’t do anything that would have hurt” the boy.
The punishment was ordered by Damian’s father, Timothy Hauschultz, 48, who reportedly was not home at the time of the ordeal.
Timothy Hauschultz and Tina McKeever-Hauschultz, 35, were the court-appointed guardians of Ethan, though FOX 11 News noted that court documents did not detail whether or how they were related.
Ethan’s twin brother was also forced to endure the punishment, which Damian said was for “not knowing 13 Bible verses to Timothy’s satisfaction”.
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.