Prosecutors on Monday charged a Wichita mother and her boyfriend with first-degree murder in the death of the woman’s 3-year-old daughter, who according to police had suffered beatings for maybe a month before her mother called 911.
The mother, Monica Krueger, 24, and the boyfriend, Evan Schuessler, 23, are each being held on a bond of $150,000 in the death of Emma Krueger. Their preliminary hearings have been set for June 24.
The criminal complaint against Krueger says that on or between May 23 and June 2, she killed her daughter, with the underlying crime being aggravated endangering a child.
The charge against Schuessler says that on or between May 23 and June 4, he killed Emma, with the underlying crime being child abuse.
When District Judge John Kisner asked Schuessler if he understood the charge, Schuessler responded, “Yes and no.” As the judge read the complaint, Schuessler at one point appeared to shake his head from side to side, look up and close his eyes.
Krueger simply said “Yes, sir” when Kisner asked whether she understood the charge.
On her application for a court-appointed attorney, Krueger said she is employed by a day care and preschool. She said she had previously worked at a pub.
On his application for an attorney, Schuessler said he has been unemployed for the past month and a half but had worked for a moving and storage business in the past six months. He wrote that he didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits.
Both defendants wore green jail jumpsuits and spoke to the judge through a video connection linked to the jail. About a dozen people, besides reporters, filed into the courtroom to view the two on the monitor.
The girl’s mother called 911 on the night of June 2 because the child wasn’t breathing, police officials said last week. Emma died Wednesday at Wesley Medical Center. Doctors told investigators that she had bruises covering her body and had swelling in her brain.
Emma had lived at Falcon Pointe Apartments, 4244 S. Hydraulic, with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend for about three months, police said.