The duties of a guardian for a child have been clearly outlined by law. Court-appointed guardians have the same legal responsibilities as parents.

Therefore the role of guardians should never be taken lightly. They must keep detailed records of child’s well-being, provide education, ensure access to health care, manage finances, and give court reports when the laws require them to do so.

They may be held responsible for legal troubles that the child under their care may cause and for any instant of neglect and abuse on the guardians’ part.

Depending on the circumstances leading to the appointment as guardians, financial assistance from social security or support from the biological parents must be handled appropriately by the guardians on behalf of the child.

But court-appointed guardians do not always carry out their duties according to the laws.

One particular case in Newton, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, is an unmistakable reminder that the system for the appointment of legal guardians can go entirely wrong.

Ethan Hauschultz, a 7-year-old-boy put under the care of his great-uncle, was found dead on April 20, 2018, after being subjected to harsh punishment for failing to cite some bible verses.

The court-appointed guardian, Timothy Hauschultz, faces eight charges, including felony murder.


10 /10 One Abusive Parent To Another

Ethan Hauschultz spent his entire short seven years of life almost always around abusive people.

He was placed in out-of-home care following multiple substantiated Child Protective Services (CPS) reports of maltreatment, including neglect and physical abuse by his mother and her boyfriend, from 2013 to 2016.

The reports became the basis to remove the 7-year-old Ethan and his twin and an 8-year-old sister from the custody of their mother, Andrea Everett.

The children were then placed under the care of court-appointed guardians, Timothy and Tina McKeever-Hauschultz, who turned out to be just as abusive, if not worse.

9 /10 A 44-Pound Log

On April 20, 2018, Court records show that Timothy told his son Damian Hauschultz to make sure that Ethan completed his punishment for talking back to a teacher.

As a part of the punishment, Ethan was required to carry a 44-pound log for two hours around a path in the backyard of their house located in Newton, Wisconsin.

It was only one instance of what would have been a week-long routine of carrying a block of wood that Timothy himself picked. Damian was put in charge because his parents were not at home.


8 /10 Face-Down In A Puddle

Over an hour and a half into the punishment, Damian physically assaulted Ethan multiple times.

It should be noted that Damian, then 14-year-old, was 5”11” and 160 pounds, while Ethan was tiny in comparison at approximately 4’8” and 60 pounds. 

To investigators, Damian said he hit, struck, and kicked Ethan approximately 100 times, sometimes using a wooden stick and belt, before repeatedly shoving him to the ground.

When the little boy fell, Damian rolled the heavy log over his chest. With face-down in a water puddle, Ethan had to endure being entirely buried in the snow.

7 /10 Abusive Guardians

Damian himself also had been forced to carry a log during the recent Snowstorm Evelyn, although it was not as heavy as what Ethan hauled that day.

Timothy put Ethan through the punishment for failing to cite 13 Bible verses. It was the same wood-carrying week for two hours a day. Tina was aware of the routine, but she had done nothing to prevent the maltreatment.

She sometimes told one of the kids to go outside without shoes on and stand or kneel on the gravel. Tina might not enforce the fatal punishment but was guilty of deliberate ignorance.

6 /10 Pronounced Dead

Punishment on April 20, 2018, began at around 1 p.m. Timothy and Tina was not at home, and so their adoptive son was in charge of enforcing the cruel disciplinary method to Ethan.

After burying Ethan under a 90-pound pile of snow, Damian left him for about 20 to 30 minutes.

When Damian observed Ethan was not moving, he called Timothy twice to inform him about the situation. About ten minutes after Timothy and Tina arrived, they took Ethan to the Holy Family Memorial.

Damian was also with them. Later that night, at 9:22 p.m., a doctor pronounced Ethan Hauschultz dead.

5 /10 Investigation Underway

Police received information from the emergency room medical staff at the Holy Family that Ethan might have sustained some injuries from falling out of a tree.

At around 4 p.m., when Ethan was still clinging to his life, Deputy Haese from the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office contacted Timothy and Tina at the hospital.

Timothy told the deputy that the children were out carrying logs that day due to doing something wrong. He said the children called him once they realized a bad thing had happened to Ethan.

4 /10 Cause Of Death

Dr. Wiselawa Tlomnak performed an autopsy of Ethan and determined hypothermia as the cause of death. However, the doctor also found contributing factors such as blunt force injury to the head, chest, and abdomen.

A list of injuries continued with, among others, fracture of the 11th rib and soft tissue bleeding. Infrared imaging of Ethan’s back revealed a print consistent with a type of footwear.

That same day, law enforcement arrived at the Hauschultz’ property with Timothy. Investigators found the log Ethan was carrying; it was an entire section of a tree trunk. There was blood in the snow as well.


3 /10 Search For Evidence

Investigators found a collection of necessary evidence during the search of the property.

In addition to the log itself, they also seized the shovel believed to have been used to bury Ethan beneath 80 pounds of packed snow, the boy’s boots, and bodily fluids in the snow, including blood.

The death of Ethan Hauschultz led to the arrest of Timothy, Tina, and Damian Hauschultz.

Defense attorney Donna Kuchler argued that evidence found during that search should have been inadmissible because Timothy revoked the permission to perform the search. Judge Jerilyn Dietz ruled otherwise.

2 /10 Not The First

Timothy had been violent with children before. In 2009, he pleaded no contest to felony child abuse after being arrested for striking two boys with wood.

A judge found him guilty as charged, but two years later, it was reduced to disorderly conduct. He had also been convicted of felony armed robbery in 1989. 

Another surprising fact of the case was that Wisconsin law had prevented social caseworkers from considering any previous criminal records of a potential guardian.

Ethan and his siblings moved from an unsafe environment into another horrible place among violent people.

Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office

1 /10 Found Guilty

Tina Hauschultz pleaded guilty to failing to prevent bodily harm in the death of Ethan. In March 2021, she was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of extended supervision.

Damian Hauschultz pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide in late June 2021. The conviction could carry up to 40-years imprisonment. He will be sentenced in September.

Timothy Hauschultz has been charged with three counts of felony child abuse and felony murder, among other lesser charges. The trial begins on December 6, 2021.

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