A Wisconsin couple and their teenage son have been charged in the death of a 7-year-old boy in their care who was allegedly forced to endure extreme punishment for failing to memorize some Bible verses.
The alleged punishment, which took place in April 2018, included holding a 44-pound log for two hours every day for a week, according to Newsweek.
Timothy and Tina Hauschultz of Manitowoc County were the court-appointed guardians for Ethan Hauschultz and at least one other sibling, according to Wisconsin outlet WLUK. Their specific relationship is unclear.
Timothy Hauschultz ordered Ethan to carry the log in a snowy path around their home after the boy was allegedly unable to recite 13 Bible verses. He put his 15-year-old son in charge of supervising the punishment, according to a criminal complaint cited by WLUK.
But instead of supervising, the teenager allegedly beat the child with a belt and stick more than 100 times. He even allegedly rolled the log over the child’s chest and stood on top of the boy as he was face down to the ground. He then allegedly buried Ethan in a snowbank, where he reportedly died of hypothermia. A medical examiner determined that in addition to hypothermia he suffered blunt force injuries to his head and body.
The teen allegedly told investigators he grew frustrated with the child for continuously dropping the log, according to local outlet WBAY. He also allegedly told investigators that his home became “prison-like” after Ethan and his brother came to live in the home in 2017.
Ethan has a twin who was also subject to the same bizarre punishment, the complaint alleges.
The Hauschultz's son has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide. Timothy Hauscultz has been charged with felony murder and felony contributing to the delinquency of a child. Tina Hauschultz has been charged with failing to prevent bodily harm and intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a child. The family has their first court appearance this week. It’s not clear if they have a lawyer who can speak on their behalf at this time.
[Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office]
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