Vilas County circuit court judge Martha Milanowski on Tuesday scheduled another judicial pretrial for 29-year-old George Poupart of Lac du Flambeau.
On June 27, a criminal complaint was filed by the state alleging that both Poupart and 30-year-old Sheila Thompson of Lac du Flambeau neglected a child which resulted in the death of Thompson’s six-year-old autistic son who, according to the complaint, was “declared deceased” on or about Dec. 3, 2021.
Poupart was represented Tuesday by his attorney, Daniel Snyder of Park Falls, and because the case is still in a discovery phase, he and Vilas County assistant district attorney Dennis Brown agreed it should be rescheduled. 
Brown said there is a lot of information yet the state must sort through, “and we are also still trying to figure out what would be appropriate for this.”
“That’s correct your honor,” Snyder said. “Last week I received some 15 DVDs of discovery, and have not had a chance to go through those myself, much less to (provide the material) to Mr. Poupart.”
Snyder also mentioned he had spoken to Vilas County district attorney Karl Hayes who had indicated an offer is forthcoming. 

The complaint
According to the criminal complaint, Lac du Flambeau Tribal Police responded to Poupart and Thompson’s residence around 3 p.m. on Dec. 3 after Thompson found her son was not breathing and unresponsive on the living room couch where he had been sleeping. 
“Upon arrival the investigating officers entered the residence and located the defendant Thompson in the living room,” the complaint states. “(The child) was lying supine on the floor. No one else was present. There was an overwhelming odor of urine inside the house. Cat feces and garbage were observed on the floor.”
The responding officers, the complaint states, noted the child appeared abnormally thin and pale, wearing a soiled diaper and was infested with lice. 
Additionally, according to the complaint, responding officers found a small amount of marijuana and “some” powdery residue which tested positive for the presence of a controlled substance.
From interviews conducted with law enforcement, Thompson said she woke up on Dec. 3 at approximately 7 a.m. while Poupart stayed asleep. She said she “glanced” at the child who appeared to be asleep while she cleaned, and then went back to bed at about 8 a.m. 
“Thompson went on to state that defendant Poupart awoke at some point, went to the store to buy cigarettes, returned, and then left the residence again with the other children (four) at approximately 2:15 p.m. on the above date to run some errands,” the complaint states. “When Thompson found (the child) on the couch, she called defendant Poupart.”
The complaint states Poupart was then located by law enforcement, and he confirmed he lived with Thompson and five children — four of them referring to him as a step-dad. 
According to the complaint, Poupart told investigators Thompson “ordinarily handles everything involving the kids’ school and doctor visits.”
“Defendant Poupart related that (the child) had been sick but could not recall when,” the complaint states. “Defendant Poupart stated that neither he nor defendant Thompson had any plans to take (the child) to a doctor. Defendant Poupart could not recall when he had last seen (the child) eat anything. He stated that he had not noticed any lice on (the child).”
In a preliminary investigation with Lac du Flambeau school officials, the complaint states that there were multiple complaints filed with Vilas County Social Services on behalf of school staff out of concern for the child’s well being. 
It was learned as well that the child had enrolled at the school both years prior, but did not return for the 2021-22 school year. 
“These complaints and referrals had been as recent as October and November of 2021,” the complaint states. “These had to do mostly with (the child) showing up to school with lice.”
According to the school officials who spoke with law enforcement, lice medication and treatments were offered. Thompson apparently instructed they be left on the front porch by school staff.
The complaint states the school official who was interviewed believed Thompson did not want anyone entering the residence to “see (the child’s) condition for themselves.”
In a follow-up investigation with school officials, according to the complaint, school staff recorded a daily log of notes outlining health issues of the child. Mainly, he was noted to often regurgitate his food and was exhibited to have excessive thirst. 
Thompson allegedly told school staff he did not show similar signs at home, and believed it may be “behavioral.” She also, according to the complaint, told the school’s nurse near the end of the 2020-21 school year she would make a doctor’s appointment for the child. 
From the Dec. 8 autopsy, the child’s body was reported to have weighed 39 pounds (below the first percentile for 6-year-old boys) and the cause of death was believed to be due to complications from diabetic ketoacidosis, symptoms known to consist of excessive thirst, vomiting and abdominal pain.
“(The medical examiner) also noted the greenish discoloration on (the child’s) abdomen, which is consistent with the normal decomposition of a human body,” the complaint states. “It is possible that such decomposition indicates that (the child) actually died earlier than when reported by defendant Thompson on the above date.”
In a Feb. 1, 2022, joint interview with both Thompson and Poupart, investigators noted the two said they first noticed the child was “thinning out” in the fall of 2021, about two months prior to his death. 
“When asked about the health of the other children, the defendant(s) stated that the other children had annual doctor visits, but that (the child) had not seen the doctor for two years prior to his death,” the complaint states. “When asked why, defendant Thompson stated: ‘No reason’ without further elaboration.”
In review of the child’s medical records, the complaint notes the child had received four routine check-ups, the last coming when he was 4 years old, in addition to a November 2015 incident as a result of a child neglect referral in which he tested positive for synthetic drug exposure. 
Poupart and Thompson face fines up to $100,000 or up to 25 years in prison or both if convicted.
Poupart’s next court appearance is set for Nov. 15 at 8:30 a.m. at the Vilas County courthouse.
Thompson awaits an appointment of a public defender. Her initial appearance is scheduled for Oct. 10 at 9 a.m.
Trevor Greene may be reached via email at trevorgreene@lakelandtimes.com.