Mother, fiance charged in 4-year-old death appear in court - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mother, fiance charged in 4-year-old death appear in court

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(KWWL) -

A mother and her fiance, accused of killing her four-year-old daughter appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing. The judge granted both defendants an extension in order to prepare for the case. 

31-year-old Kristi Buss is charged with child endangerment resulting in death. Her fiance, 32-year-old Chad Little, is facing charges of first degree murder and child endangerment. Both plead not guilty in the death of Gracie Buss. 

In May 2015, 4-year-old Gracie Buss was found unconscious in her Waterloo home. She was rushed to the University of Iowa hospitals, but later died of her injuries. Autopsy results show she she died of severe trauma to her head.  

Eighteen months later in September 2016, Waterloo police arrested both Buss and Little in connection with Gracie's death. 

The criminal complaint reveals Little had been living with Kristi and her two children. More than one witness, including Gracie's brother, told police Little would physically beat Gracie.

Little appeared in court on Monday with his attorney, side by side his fiance Kristi and her attorney. It is our understanding that Kristi Buss is pregnant. 

"We were gonna ask for a thirty day continuance- I'm not entirely convinced that we'll be ready in that thirty day time frame," said Little's defense attorney.

The judge granting the extension request for both Little and Buss, giving them more time for discovery. The judge granted them an extension for around thirty days, but it is unclear how long the trial will be pushed back, nearing closer to almost two years since Gracie was murdered. 

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