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North Mankato Couple Fights to Keep 8-Year-Old Son

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Russell and Mona Hauer are charged with six felonies, including neglect and malicious punishment of their 8-year-old son.

Authorities said they spanked the boy with a 2-by-4, and put an alarm on his door so he wouldn't steal food charges their defense attorney is disputing. Jason Kohlmeyer says the boy has several mental health problems including, Reactive detachment disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Jason Kohlmeyer, the Hauers attorney says, "They had all these experts telling them he is a troubled child and trying their best but categorically deny they ever used a 2 X4."

Mayo Clinic officials say the boy, who weighed less than 35 pounds last month was released from the hospital on Wednesday, almost a month after the investigation began.
He's now in foster care but his siblings remain with their parents.
Hauers attorney, John Kohlmeyer says, "My clients are willing to do anything they can to reunify their family."

The Hauers have been licensed with the state of Minnesota as a foster family since 2005.
The county attorney's office issued the petition to terminate parental rights because they believe there was enough evidence to support egregious harm.

Nicollet County Attorney, Michelle Zehnder Fischer says, "Anytime a parent subjects a child to egregious harm that would call to question based on the law the parents ability to parent any other child." Currently they have an adopted seven and 5-year-old along with their 10-year-old biological child living at home after a judge decided it was safe for them to be there last week.

Russell and Mona Hauer are scheduled to appear in Nicollet County Court on November 20th at 4:30 for their Termination of Parental Rights hearing and December 11th at 11 a.m for criminal charges.