Teen sentenced to 20 years in prison for Ethan Hauschultz homicide

Damian Hauschultz plea hearing
Damian Hauschultz plea hearing(Manitowoc County Court)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 12:38 PM CDT
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MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Mishicot teen has been sentenced to two decades behind bars for the 2018 death of seven-year-old Ethan Hauschultz.

On Sept. 2, a Manitowoc County judge sentenced Damian Hauschultz, 17, to 20 years in state prison and 10 years on extended supervision.

Damian Hauschultz had pleaded guilty to 1st Degree Reckless Homicide. As part of a plea agreement, three counts of Child Abuse-Intentionally Cause Harm and three counts of Substantial Battery-Intend Bodily Harm were dismissed but read into the record.

Manitowoc County District Attorney Jaclyn LaBre says the state requested a sentence of 12-17 years. The maximum sentence was 40 years in prison and 20 years on extended supervision.

Damian’s parents, Timothy and Tina, were Ethan’s court appointed guardians.

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,” reads the criminal complaint.

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 Hauschultz’s care in 2017. The siblings told investigators Timothy Hauschultz frequently punished them by making them walk laps around the yard carrying heavy logs, which he picks out. The siblings said that week they were required to carry wood every day for two hours a day for not knowing their Bible verses.

Photos provided by Ethan's mother
Photos provided by Ethan's mother(WBAY)

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 packed snow and ice.

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.

Tina McKeever-Hauschultz, 38, pleaded “no contest” to felony counts of Fail/Prevent Mental Harm to Child and Child Abuse-Fail/Prevent Great Harm. She was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison.

Timothy Hauschultz, 50, is charged with Felony Murder, Child Abuse, Battery and Contribute to Delinquency (Death). His trial is set for December.

The crime inspired State Sen. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) to author Ethan’s Law. The legislation is aimed at protecting children from being placed with known abusers. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Tony Evers.

Ethan’s Law closes the loophole that allowed Ethan to be placed with a caregiver who had a history of violence. Under the bill, human services could not place a child with an adult who has been found guilty of abusing a child or plea bargained the crime to a lesser charge.

“What happened to Ethan is unbelievably tragic,” Sen. Jacque said. “If the loopholes didn’t exist, Ethan and his two siblings could not have been placed in this home, and presumably Ethan would still be alive today. The system failed him, and we owe it to his memory to put proper guidelines in place.”

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