Lawsuit against 10-yr-old girl who STOMPED on baby's head killing him dismissed, dad 'frustrated'
Jaxon Hunter's parents, Stephanie Hunter and Nathan Liedl, filed a lawsuit against Chippewa County Department of Human Services and others over the death
A 10-year-old Wisconsin girl was charged after she admitted to hurting a 6-month-old baby at a Chippewa Falls daycare, leading to his death. Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk received a 911 call on October 30, 2018, regarding an unresponsive baby at a Wheaton daycare who was bleeding. Authorities arrived at the daycare and rushed the baby, identified as Jaxon Hunter, to the hospital, where he died on November 1.
The girl was revealed to be a foster child of the family that owned the daycare. She told the authorities that she panicked after dropping Jaxon and then stomped on his head when he began to cry. Jaxon's parents, Stephanie Hunter and Nathan Liedl, filed a lawsuit against the Chippewa County Department of Human Services, its director Tim Easker, foster care coordinator Serena Schultz, and unidentified social workers in December 2020.
The lawsuit claims the defendants knew the 10-year-old girl was dangerous with a history of behavioral, emotional, and anger problems, and they still didn't warn the foster mother or daycare parents. Remzy Bitar, the attorney representing Chippewa County, argued that the county and its employees "did not act improperly or in violation of plaintiff's constitutional, civil and/or statutory rights." Bitar added that the injuries and damages "were not caused by a governmental policy or practice." All defendants "were in good faith and not motivated by malice or the intent of harm."
But in Monday's ruling, the judge dismissed the suit, saying there were no indications the girl was violent or was an obvious risk to children at the daycare. He also said it was not foreseeable that the foster mother would leave the girl unsupervised or that the girl would accidentally drop Jaxon, and then kick him out of fear. Liedl told WQOW that he was "frustrated and disappointed" by the ruling.
Liedl previously told The Chippewa Herald, "It's obviously something I still think about every day. I have a wall dedicated to Jaxon, with a lot of pictures and other gifts in memory of him. I keep several photos and videos on my phone that I look through quite often."
He also created a non-profit organization in his son Jaxon's name.
"Win4Jax is a non-profit in honor of Jaxon to benefit child victims of crime, either by memorials and monuments, providing sporting equipment and sponsoring league fees or just other simple gifts. The months following Jaxon's death, I realized how much of an impact it had on me and my family to receive so much support, oftentimes from people we didn't know. I knew that I wanted to be able to do the same for other families who have been dealt similar unfortunate events and felt now was a good time to focus my attention to honoring him."
"I waited 37 years for my own little baby boy. I was extremely lucky because he didn't cry, no fussing, he was happy smiles all the time," Liedl told ABC 7. "As opposed to seeing it as a 10-year-old girl, I saw it as the person who killed my son. And she, in my opinion, deserved to be in shackles or handcuffs. She's a criminal," he added.
Meanwhile, the 10-year-old girl's name was never released publicly and she was initially charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide by someone age 10 or older. She was placed in a secure detention center, and her case was eventually moved into juvenile court. The results of future rulings will not be made public, reports the Leader-Telegram.