Medical examiner, stepdad testify about children’s murders at Beyer trial

The jury heard emotional testimony from Tyler Schuth and graphic testimony from the medical examiner who performed the children's autopsies
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:40 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2022 at 5:38 PM CST
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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Last week, prospective jurors were asked if they could handle the graphic photos and testimony that would come up in Matthew Beyer’s trial for the murders of his two young children.

Monday, the third day of the trial and the second day of testimony, witnesses included the medical examiner and the children’s stepfather.

Beyer, 38, is standing on two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide for the 2020 killings of 5-year-old William Beyer and 3-year-old Danielle Beyer, his biological children.

William and Danielle’s stepfather Tyler Schuth testified Monday about the happenings on February 17, 2020, when the children were killed. He talked about how sweet both William and Danielle were, who he lovingly called Will and Danny, and said the two were inseparable. He talked about his relationship as their stepfather, sharing how they loved watching movies, going to the library, or hiking at High Cliff State park.

He said he shared a special relationship with the children because he didn’t have kids of his own, and he was proud of getting to be their stepdad. He was emotional at times and said the loss impacts him every day.

“I see kids in stores and I see kids places that we go, and when I see kids around their age, it gives me anxiety because it reminds me that I’m never going to have the opportunity to see them grow up,” Schuth said.

He said in the months before their deaths, their mother said she was looking to get full placement of the kids. Mr. Schutch testified Beyer was having fewer and fewer visits with the children, and Beyer started saying they were not his children.

The testimony from the medical examiner was more difficult.

The jury also heard from Milwaukee County Deputy Chief Medical Officer P. Douglas Kelley, M.D. Kelley, who performed the autopsy, went over the injuries to the children’s bodies in great detail. He testified the injuries were consistent with homicide and that the weapon was a “single-blade sharp object.”

The defense asked very few questions, sometimes none, with several witnesses.

As the jurors heard testimony and viewed autopsy photos, their reactions were pained but quiet.

Beyer appeared to show no emotion.

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Prospective jurors were asked if they could handle the graphic testimony and photos

According to a criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News, the children were found in their bedroom with injuries to their necks, which one officer described as “almost a hole.” Autopsies found William and Danielle suffered five to eight sharp force injuries to their necks. William also had two shallow cuts to his hands, which prosecutors say indicates the boy put up a fight.

On Friday, the children’s mother, Melissa Schuth, testified about finding the children stabbed to death in her home.

“I picked my son up and I started screaming for my husband to call 911,” Schuth testified, fighting back the tears, “and I picked him up and I carried him from his bed through to the living room, and I just remember screaming for him to call 911, and I walked back with my son to the bedroom.”

To another question, she answered, “I was just thinking I was going to wake up from this horrible nightmare and that’s what it was. I was so lost and so confused. I didn’t know how all this happened.”

A witness told police that a week after the children were murdered, Beyer described in detail how he would have killed the children so they couldn’t scream out and alert anyone. The witness said Beyer didn’t believe he was their father and was upset about having to pay child support when the mother wouldn’t let him see the children.

Beyer said he hadn’t been to Kaukauna for two months, but detectives pieced together videos from traffic and home doorbell cameras following a silver minivan like Beyer’s along a route from his driveway in Manitowoc to Kaukauna and back.

In a separate case, Beyer was sentenced to five years in prison in an attempted jail escape in Outagamie County.