Wichita man sentenced for murder of 9-month-old girl

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita man was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for the death of 9-month-old Maela Flores.

Brietan Rader, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, two counts of abuse of a child, cultivation of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia to distribute and/or manufacture on Nov. 30, 2023.

A Sedgwick County judge sentenced Rader to 308 months in prison with 36 months of post-release. The judge also ordered him to pay $2,967 in restitution.

The incident happened over four years ago, in January 2020. Police say Flores suffered critical injuries the night of Jan. 10 at an apartment in the 3600 block of West 13th Street. She died five days later, on Jan. 15.

A police officer said that while at the hospital with Flores, he noticed she had an injury to her left cheek, left chin and left clavicle area. Medical staff said she was suffering from a brain bleed.

Court filings show Flores’ mother had just left work the night of Jan. 10 when she got a frantic call from Rader telling her that Flores was stiff and not breathing.

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The affidavit says the mother, who was driving, managed to get the attention of a sheriff’s office employee who was headed home. That employee notified dispatchers, who sent emergency units to the apartment on West 13th Street.

The affidavit says when units arrived, Rader said he did not want officers in the home due to him using marijuana in the past. A firefighter said that Rader met them by 13th Street as they arrived.

Two other children, ages 6 and 2, were in the apartment and were placed in protective custody.

During the investigation, officers discovered a marijuana grow operation inside the apartment. They found marijuana plants, bags with what appeared to be marijuana, and, in a diaper bag, an assortment of marijuana pipes and bongs.

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