Nate Liedl of Chippewa Falls, Wis., would’ve liked to have had more than the eight hours a week a family court had given him to spend with his 6-month-old son, Jaxon Hunter, the infant who was killed, apparently by a 10-year-old girl at the infant’s day care.
He had filed the paperwork with the court to get a more time, but court delays prevented it, he says in an interview Tuesday with the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. He and Stefanie Hunter, the boy’s mother, broke up while she was pregnant with Jaxon.
“I feel like they robbed me of my time with my son, that I’ll never get back,” Liedl said. “He wasn’t here long enough, and the time he was, I didn’t get to spend with him.”
The 10-year-old, who was a foster child in the day care run by Amber Sweeney, allegedly panicked when she dropped young Jaxon, then stomped on his head on Oct. 30. He died in a St. Paul hospital a few days later.
The other kids and Sweeney were outside at the time.
It was until Nov. 2 that Liedl learned the circumstances of his son’s death and then he couldn’t say anything because the alleged killer is a juvenile. That changed after her initial court appearance on Nov. 5.
“I didn’t have to hold it in anymore,” he told the paper.
He doesn’t blame Sweeney and never will, he said.
“She was looking out for what’s best for the children. She loves children,” Liedl said. “It’s why she did foster care and day care. It could have happened to anybody.”
“I waited 37 years for my own little baby boy,” Liedl said yesterday. “Anytime he was around, he was all smiles and happy. It was smiles and laughs — (being a father) was even better than I imagined.”
Jaxon was napping at his Tilden daycare when a ten-year-old foster child living at the home returned from school. While the other children were playing outside, the girl went in to get something and picked up the baby.
Somehow, he started crying.
Prosecutors say the girl caused purposeful harm to the baby's head to get him to stop. In an interview with investigators, she admitted to intentionally causing the trauma that would end Jaxon's life.
After two days at Gillette Children's Hospital, doctors told Liedl there was nothing more they could do. Liedl never stopped believing his son was going to be okay.
"But even then I still was hoping that he's gonna... he's gonna open his eyes. He's still going to come out of this," Liedl said. "I just sat there holding his hand and just staring at him for the whole while."
Liedl showed heavy emotion when discovering that his son had passed.
"[The doctor] grabbed her stethoscope and put it on [Jaxon's] chest and I just buried my head down. Because then I knew he had passed away...it was probably the hardest moment of my life," he said.
A 10-year-old Wisconsin girl has been charged as an adult with first-degree homicide with intent, a felony.
The girl is accused of killing a 6-month-old baby at a Wisconsin daycare last week.
The defendant’s mother held her daughter close as the little girl went before a judge for the first time.
It is a Wisconsin state law to first bring felony first-degree homicide charges to an adult court if the accused is 10-years-old or older.
“By statute, a 10-year-old or older is required to at least start out the process in adult court, and that’s why we’re here today,” the judge explained to the girl, her parents and the victim’s family.
Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk has worked in law enforcement for 40 years. He says he can’t remember ever seeing charges to this extent for a child so young.
The ten-year-old girl sobbed in her mother’s arms as Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell described the case.
“She panicked, didn’t know what to do and didn’t want to get into trouble,” he said at the girl’s bond hearing on Monday.
Newell says on Oct. 30, the girl was at her foster parent’s home in Tilden, Wisconsin, about 10 miles north of Chippewa Falls.
Prosecutors allege the girl dropped a six-month-old baby boy and he hit his head. When he started crying, she panicked, then causing what prosecutors say was intentional fatal head trauma to the baby.
The foster home is also a licensed daycare. Investigators say there was one adult and three children at the home at the time of the incident.
Investigators took a footstool and the girl’s shoes into evidence.
“The injuries sustained by the 6-month-boy was not an accident,” Kowalczyk said.