MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin judge ruled that a teenager charged in the death of a 7-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten, forced to carry around a heavy log and then buried in snow will be tried in adult court.
Attorneys for 16-year-old Damian Hauschultz, who was 15 when Ethan Hauschultz died in 2018, tried to have the case moved to juvenile court.
The teen is charged with first-degree reckless homicide, three counts of child abuse and three counts of substantial battery.
Ethan died after Damian made him to carry a 45-pounds (20-kilogram) log outside for punishment and kicked and struck him, according to a criminal complaint. It also says the boy was buried in about 80 pounds (35 kilograms) of packed snow, where he was left for about 20 to 30 minutes without a coat or boots.
The cause of death was ruled to be hypothermia and blunt force injuries to the head, chest and abdomen.
Two other relatives, who were Ethan’s court-appointed guardians, are also charged in the case.
Timothy Hauschultz, who is Damian’s adoptive father and Ethan’s great-uncle, faces eight charges. A criminal complaint says Hauschultz told Damian to make sure Ethan completed his punishment.
McKeever-Hauschultz, Timothy Hauschultz’s wife, is charged with failing to prevent bodily harm and one other charge.
WLUK-TV reported Judge Jerilyn Dietz ruled Thursday that the case will stay in adult court.
“The outcome here was tragic, heartbreaking and completely foreseeable given the abuse Damian caused upon E.H,” Dietz said. “This case is extremely brutal.”