A Wisconsin teen was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2018 death of his 7-year-old relative, who prosecutors say was beaten and tortured for not knowing Bible verses.
Damian Hauschultz, now 17, pleaded guilty in June to one count of first-degree reckless homicide, court records show. Charges of child abuse and substantial battery were dismissed.
In addition to serving time behind bars, Hauschultz will complete 10 years of extended supervision following his release.
“My goal is to ensure that you are incarcerated for just long enough to mature, and develop, to work on education, to work on treatment, work on controlling that angry side,” Manitowoc County Circuit Court Judge Jerilyn Dietz said as she sentenced Hauschultz as an adult Thursday.
According to a criminal complaint, Hauschultz’s father told him to punish the child, Ethan Hauschultz. Damian Hauschultz’s parents were the court-appointed guardians for Ethan and the father punished the child because he did not know 13 Bible verses.
Prosecutors said Ethan was forced to carry a log around a path for two hours a day for one week while Damian Hauschultz watched. Ethan “struggled to carry his log” and Damian Hauschultz hit, kicked, struck and poked him approximately 100 times, the criminal complaint states.
It goes on to say that Damian Hauschultz stood on Ethan’s “body and head” while the boy was “face-down in a puddle.” Damian Hauschultz also buried the child in about “80 pounds of packed snow” and left him for about 20 to 30 minutes without a coat or boots, the complaint says.
Ethan died of hypothermia but had other extensive injuries, according to the complaint.
The child’s mother, Andrea Everett, was in court for Damian Hauschultz’s sentencing and said he was out of excuses.
“I’ve listened to people in this courtroom blame your parents for the reason why you’ve killed my son,” she said. “I’ve listened to people talk about the trauma that you have gone through. We’ve all gone through trauma. But it doesn’t mean that we brutally kill a 7-year-old.”
An attorney for Damian Hauschultz could not immediately be reached on Saturday.
Damian Hauschultz’s father, Timothy Hauschultz, goes on trial in December on eight charges including felony murder while Damian’s mother, Tina McKeever-Hauschultz, was sentenced to five years after pleading guilty for failure to prevent great bodily harm and failing to prevent mental harm to a child.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.