Nicholas Arthur Miller
January 15, 2008  - June 23, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial

In Durand, Wisconsin a child died, a 17 month old boy, Nicholas Miller. Nicholas was being beaten by his step father and even with his stepsister telling people about it, no one came to his aid. Charlie Ohmann, Nicholas's grandfather said that he and other relatives feared something was not right, it seems that when Tylar Hokanson, stepfather of Nicholas,  would give excuses that included falling out of bed, that was accepted rather than help this poor child by reporting his injuries to the police or Child Protective services. When his stepsister told a grandmother about the beatings grandson was getting from her father, Debbie Ohmann did not report it and would later say:

"The way my daughter and Tyler moved around, it's hard to know if there was any abuse going on,
because they never stayed in one place too long"

Tylar and Melissa had married when Nicholas was about eight months old. Melissa started to notice bruises on her son. Tylar also would hold Nicholas around his ribs and he would cry. Melissa said that when by the time Nicholas was one year old, he was obviously afraid of Tylar and would run to her crying whenever he would come into the room. Debbie Ohmann said that she saw bruises on Nicholas and when ever he saw Tylar he would run, screaming "OW OW". If these are NOT signs to a mother that her son is in trouble, what is?

Melissa, who was 18 years old at the time, said that on the evening of June 19, 2009, she gave Nicholas a bath and she had not seen any bruises on him. After handing the child to Tylar, he took him upstairs and Melissa heard a scream from Nicholas and she knew he was afraid and when she got upstairs, Tylar said all he did was touch Nicholas and he screamed. YA THINK, TYLAR?

Nicholas woke up grumpy saying "ow" and he cried when Tylar came into the room. So at this point, a red flag should be WAY up for Melissa, to get her son away from this man, of course, it wasn't. Nicholas would not eat, drink or talk and he didn't want anyone to touch him. Tylar and Melissa went to the home of Tylar's mother and he was unable to sleep, he was drooling, losing muscle control and unable to sit up. It was reported that by June 21st, Nicholas was was pale, why didn't they take him to the hospital? He was not eating, why didn't they take him to the hospital? He was not using his legs and he started to become like a noodle with his head flopping instead of holding it up, why didn't they take him to the hospital? He was bathed several times because he started to smell, he was breathing fast and Melissa thought he was having an Asthma attack, she gave him an inhaler treatment, over and over, why didn't they take him to the hospital?

On June 23rd, drooling and unable to hold his head up and with a worsening odor, Melissa woke him up and when he had no muscle control, FINALLY decided to take him to the hospital. Nicholas turned blue while they were loading him into the car
and Tylar and his mother tried to revive him and were not able to do so. An ambulance was called, but it took 23 minutes to get to the the home and Nicholas died on June 23, 2009. 

Injuries to Nicholas were described as a broken collarbone which was done in January and then again in May, broken ribs at least two weeks old and a broken thoracic vertebrae in the middle of his back, which was the injury he sustained on June 19th:

"This injury, we're told, would have been extremely painful and made it difficult for this child
to move or walk. It also resulted in the release of lymphatic fluid into the child's chest cavity,
which infiltrated the lining of his lungs, making it difficult for him to breathe"
County Attorney - James Backstrom

When Nicholas died, he had suffered for four days with a broken back and bleeding to his brain. A doctor said that Nicholas had the worst spinal break he had been witness to. Nicholas had also suffered broken ribs, which were pressed to his back after what appeared to been done by someone applying great amounts of pressure while squeezing his ribs. Tyler eventually admitted to shaking Nicholas at least 20 times and squeezing him, four days before he died, because he was angry with his sister-in-law. Even with his confession, his lawyers were trying to say he was innocent and that someone else must have hurt this little Angel.

Siblings of Nicholas were checked and it was found that his brother, Noah, who was only six weeks old, had a rib which was estimated to have been broken when he was only two years old. Melissa said she had seen Tylar holding the baby the same way he had held Nicholas, with his thumbs around his front and fingers around the back.

Tylar Hokanson, who was 22 years old at the time,  was charged with second degree murder after an autopsy found that Nicholas had been abused more than once. Bail was set by District Judge Rex Stacy, in the amount of either $500,000. or $350,000. with some conditions including that Tylar stay away from Melissa and all children, including his own.

Tylar said that he had become frustrated when he was changing Nicholas's diaper and he was throwing a tantrum. Tylar shook Nicholas no less than 15 times and said that the baby looked at him with a terrified look in his eyes. When the child started to cry, Tylar put his hand over his mouth.

In November of 2010, Tylar was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the death of this precious Angel baby. The jury was out for about 31 hours and worked into Thanksgiving day, but they did what most juries do not do for the children who are killed by abuse, they put him away forever:

"This was a difficult case. We are extremely pleased and grateful for the jury's decision today. The
interest of justice was served"
James Backstrom

In December of 2010, someone else did the right thing and Melissa was charged in the death of her son. In September of 2012, Melissa Ohmann, who was 21 years old at the time, was sentence to a RIDICULOUS sentence of only one year in prison and ten years of probation and was forbidden to have any contact with children under the age of 15. Oh, she was also forbidden to do drugs or alcohol. Maybe that will teach her? How insulting to Nicholas.


Nicholas Arthur Miller was born January 15, 2008, in Northfield, to Melissa Ohmann and Brian Miller. He passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, June 23, 2009, in Durand, Wisconsin. Nicholas loved to be outside, play in the sandbox, and be with his brother and sisters.

Survivors include his mother and step-father, Melissa and Tylar Hokanson of Northfield; his father, Brian Miller of Castle Rock; his sister, Megan Miller; his brother, Noah Hokanson; two step-sister, Hailey Stodola and Elizabeth Gavin; his grandparents: Debbie and Charlie Ohmann of Northfield, Kim Miller (Phil) of Castle Rock, Emil (Jackie) Miller of Dodge Center; his step-grandparents, Ruth and Walter Hunecke of Maiden Rock, Wisconsin; his great-grandparents: Mary Larson of Brooklyn Park, Barb and Herman Ohmann of Northfield, Louie and Becky Mills of St. Cloud, Florida; uncles, aunts, cousins and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be 2:00 P.M. Thursday, July 2, 2009, at Highview Christiania Lutheran Church in rural Farmington with Rev. Chris Beckman officiating. Music will be provided by Lil Sather. Interment will be in Highview Christiania Cemetery. Casket bearers will be Joe Ohmann, Matt Young, Josh Gildner and Jesse Muenkel. Visitation will be at the church two hours prior to the service.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.

Death Occurred in the state of Wisconsin

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