Grandmother: Accused shooter considerate child:
Here is some courtroom theatrics for you.
In a hearing to see if Weston High School shooter, Eric Hainstock, will be tried as an adult his grandmother testified on his behalf.
Irene Hainstock was pushed up to the stand in a wheelchair and, with a gray bun and a white crocheted blanket on her lap, gave teary testimony about her relationship with her grandson and his troubled upbringing. Hainstock sat unmoved throughout her testimony.
“He’s always been a loving child” he showed affection very easily and he was very talkative,” she said. “He liked to talk, and grandma listened.”
His very early childhood, spent in Reedsburg with parents Shawn and Lisa Hainstock, was relatively normal, Irene Hainstock said. It was when he was three or four and his father remarried to Pricella Hainstock that things became “not the best,” she said.
The Hainstock home on Bird Drive in La Valle was unkempt with multiple dogs that Pricella was raising in the home, she said.
Once Shawn Hainstock said to his wife, “I think you love the dogs more than you love Eric,” Irene Hainstock testified. “She said, ‘Maybe I do.” Hearing that felt “terrible,” she said. “He’s my grandson.”
In his older childhood years he began to be “terribly nervous and jumpy and flustered,” Irene Hainstock said, and was prescribed Ritalin. In the fall of 2001, when Eric was 10, he went to live with his grandmother for several months.
Even after he returned home, he would bike the three miles to his grandmother’s home and seemed to seek refuge in their relationship, she said.
“Like any teenager, I think he resented Pricella’s authority over him,” she said. “He always came to grandma.”
When he would complain about being bullied at school, the advice she would give him, Irene Hainstock said, was “trying to get along, forgive.”
What does Hainstock’s home life have to do with killing John Klang? After all he didn’t murder his stepmother.
The prosecution seems to be unfazed.
After Hainstock had testified that her grandson was locked in a locker at school, held by his ankles with his head in a toilet by another student and told by a teacher that he wouldn’t “be (at school) long if I have anything to say about it,” District Attorney Patricia Barrett asked what she had done to intervene.
Irene Hainstock said she thought that was Eric’s parents’ job.
“So it didn’t worry you enough to go past his parents to protect your grandson and tell the school?” Barrett asked. “It seemed to have stuck in your memory, but it didn’t seem to bother you enough to report it.”
“Like I said,” Hainstock said, “I thought his parents would take care of it.”
Barrett said a school report showed Eric had instigated the incident with the toilet, and earlier had threatened other students, brought to school both powdered calcium he said was cocaine and a mixture of Kool-Aid and cough syrup he said was blood.
In the spring of eighth grade, Barrett said, Eric threw a chair in choir class and grabbed his teacher by her arm until it was numb while screaming profanities. Irene Hainstock said she wasn’t aware of any of those incidents.
But he’s the victim? I don’t think so.