The caretakers of a 3-year-old Wichita girl who was beaten to death last month waived their rights to a preliminary hearing Tuesday and have been bound over for trial on first-degree felony murder charges.
Monica Krueger and Evan A. Schuessler are set for a jury trial Aug. 25 in the death of Krueger’s daughter Emma, according to Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office’s spokesman Dan Dillon. The girl died June 4 after being taken to a local hospital by ambulance two days earlier. Emma was unresponsive, had bruises covering her body and had swelling on her brain.
Both Krueger, 24, and Schuessler, Krueger’s 23-year-old boyfriend, were arrested June 3 in connection with the girl’s injuries. They were charged with murder after she died.
First-degree felony murder carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of life without parole for 20 years. The underlying crime on Schuessler’s charge is child abuse. In Krueger’s case, the underlying charge is aggravated endangering of a child.
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Each remained in Sedgwick County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $150,000 bond. The pair waived their rights to a preliminary hearing before Sedgwick County District Judge Joe Kisner, Dillon said.
Authorities have said that Emma endured abuse for maybe a month before her death. The Eagle reported in June that about three weeks before she died, Wichita police were asked to check Emma’s welfare at her home at Falcon Pointe Apartments, 4244 S. Hydraulic, but officers went to the wrong door because the 911 caller gave authorities the wrong apartment number.
Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams responded to the report by saying that officers “had done everything they could” by spending about 20 minutes at the apartment and verifying the apartment number given to 911 dispatch three times before leaving.