Court orders competency exam for woman charged in boy's death

Tina McKeever-Hauschultz appears in court. Photo: WBAY

MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A competency examination has been ordered for a woman charged in the death of a Manitowoc County boy.

Tina McKeever-Hauschultz, 36, appeared in court Wednesday and made a motion for a competency exam. The court agreed and scheduled a review hearing for July 12.

McKeever-Hauschultz is charged with four counts in the 2018 death of seven-year-old Ethan Hauschultz.

Her husband, Timothy, and son, Damian, are also charged in the boy's death.

Timothy and Tina Hauschultz 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 Hauschultzes' care in 2017. The siblings told investigators Timothy Hauschultz frequently punishes 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.

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.

Damian Hauschultz, 15, is charged with 1st Degree Reckless Homicide and he's being held on a $150,000 bond. He has a hearing scheduled for June 21.

Timothy Hauschultz is charged with Felony Murder. He's due in court June 17 for a Settlement Conference.