UPDATE: Man accused in crime spree found incompetent to stand trial in Grant County

UPDATE: The man accused in a mulch-county crime spree has been found  incompetent to stand trial in Grant County.

James M. Kruger

UPDATED Monday, December 2, 2013 --- 2:43 p.m.

The man accused in a mulch-county crime spree has been found incompetent to stand trial in Grant County.

James Kruger appeared in Grant Co. Monday. Judge Robert VanDeHey made the ruling. According to Grant County Clerk of Courts,Kruger was also committed to a mental institution for up to one year.

Kruger faces 17 different charges in Grant Co. alone.


UPDATED Friday, September 20, 2013 --- 11:08 a.m.

Bail is set at $500,000 for a man accused in a mulch-county crime spree.

James Kruger appeared in Grant Co. court via video this morning. He is actually being held in Iowa Co. on separate charges there.

Kruger faces 17 different charges in Grant Co. alone.

He will return to court later this month.


UPDATED Thursday, September 19, 2013 --- 2:20 p.m.

A man accused in a multi-county crime spree has been formally charged in Grant Co.

James Kruger is scheduled to appear in Grant Co. court Friday morning.

Kruger faces the following charges for the incident that occurred on September 10th (for more information, read the stories below):

-Attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer, repeater
-Armed robbery, repeater
-Pointing a firearm at another, repeater (2 counts)
-Strangulation and suffocation, repeater
-Misdemeanor battery, repeater
-Discharging a firearm from a vehicle-toward a person, repeater
-Taking hostages, release without bodily harm, repeater
-Felony bail jumping (8 counts)


UPDATED Wednesday, September 18, 2013 --- 2:03 p.m.

A Madison man accused in a crime spree has been charged with being a felon in possession of firearms.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against 36-year-old James Kruger today.

The indictment alleges that on September 10, Kruger possessed a .22 caliber double-barreled firearm, a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a loaded 12 gauge shotgun.

Kruger was arrested Sept. 10 after an alleged crime spree described in the stories below.

If convicted on the gun crime charges, Kruger faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.


UPDATED Sunday, September 15, 2013 --- 4:45 p.m.

CASSVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- A Cassville man says the only way he thought he could keep his wife safe was to give the gunman in his driveway the keys to his truck, and become the man's hostage.

Walter Riedl told the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1aM376R ) about his nearly two-hour ordeal with 36-year-old James Kruger, who is accused in a two-day, multi-county crime spree that includes two attempted homicides and a high-speed chase. Kruger has already been charged on some counts. More are expected.

Riedel says that during his time with Kruger on Tuesday, Kruger was taking drugs, threatening Riedl's life, and preaching "religious stuff."

Riedel finally escaped when Kruger sent him into a business to buy a soda.

Online court records do not list a defense attorney for Kruger.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
UPDATED Wednesday, September 11, 2013 --- 6:07 p.m.

James Kruger is currently being held in the Iowa County Jail on a $500,000 bond for charges that stem out of Iowa Co. from the incidents that occurred on 9-10-13.

Kruger faces seven felony charges amongst others, including:
Knowingly fleeing an officer
Reckless endangerment
Operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent
Felon in possession of a firearm
False imprisonment and bomb scare
Carrying a concealed weapon
OWI with Drugs
UPDATED Wednesday, September 11, 2013 --- 4:22 p.m.

The Grant Co. Sheriff's Department, Cassville Police and Platteville Police will refer a number of charges against a man after an alleged crime spree.

James Kruger was arrested Tuesday following a police chase.

The following charges will be referred to the District Attorney's Office.


Attempted Homicide
Felon in possession of Firearm
Criminal Damage to Property

Grant Co.
Reckless Endangering Safety

On Tuesday around 3:53 a.m.., Platteville Police say an officer noticed Kruger's vehicle going the wrong way down a one way street. The officer tried to stop the vehicle but it sped away.

Around 6:30 a.m., Kruger went to a relative's house in Cassville. Kruger allegedly pointed a gun at the relative, grabbed him by the throat, forced him down a set of stairs, and forced him to open a safe.

Kruger allegedly took money and three guns from the safe. During this time, the relative was able to get away and call 911.

Soon afterwards, deputies received reports of shots fired on the south edge of Cassville.

Kruger was allegedly at a home outside of Cassville from 7:15 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.

At 11:16 a.m., deputies were called by a woman who said her husband was taken at gunpoint, and a gun was pointed at her.

Kruger allegedly took the man and his truck and cattle trailer, and left the home. The trailer had a cow in it. The woman said Kruger told her he would kill her husband if she called the cops.

While driving, deputies say Kruger saw a vehicle for sale in Mt. Ida. He talked to the owner of the vehicle, who refused to sell it to Kruger. Kruger reportedly had a handgun tucked in his waistband the entire time.

After leaving and driving through Fennimore, deputies say Kruger hit an unattended vehicle with the cow trailer. Kruger reportedly decided he had to get rid of the trailer, and unhooked it on Weinbrenner Road.

The kidnapping victim said he wanted to stay with the cow, but Kruger would not let him.

The man was able to escape in Dodgeville.


UPDATED: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 --- 8:15 p.m.

A Madison man wanted for attempted homicide is now in custody after a high speed chase that lasted multiple days, involved multiple victims and spanned multiple counties in Wisconsin.

James Kruger, 36, was captured near Mt. Horeb Tuesday afternoon after crashing the stolen car he was driving. He was not hurt.

"I was involved in the chase for a short time myself," said Iowa Co. Sheriff Steve Michek. "It was quite harrowing. It had to be one of the most dangerous situations I've ever been involved in in my 25 years in law enforcement. I've never really seen a person drive with the intent to elude officers and get away from someone like Mr. Kruger."

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says the car overturned after hitting two sets of road spikes placed by deputies.

"This is a highly violent individual that every one of us is glad is off the street," Sheriff Mahoney said.

"His speeds were well in excess of 100 mph," Sheriff Michek said. "Those deputies put their lives on the line and I would like to commend everyone of those deputies for the awesome job they did."

UPDATED Tuesday, September 10, 2013 --- 6:17 p.m.

MOUNT HOREB, Wis. (AP) -- A suspect in a Madison stabbing is in jail after authorities say he stole two vehicles and led deputies from four counties on a high speed chase.

Thirty-six-year-old James Kruger was captured near Mount Horeb Tuesday afternoon after crashing the stolen car he was driving. He was not hurt.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says the car overturned after hitting road spikes placed by deputies.

Mahoney says Highway 151 was closed for an hour after the crash because of concerns Kruger may have placed an explosive device in the car.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Kruger was arrested last Wednesday in Dane County on a felony charge of eluding an officer. He was wanted by Madison police after allegedly stabbing a 48-year-old man on Monday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
UPDATED Tuesday, September 10, 2013 --- 3:56 p.m.

Dane Co. Deputies took James Kruger into custody just before 1:00 following a police chase and crash.

Kruger is accused in a crime spree that included an alleged stabbing Monday morning in Madison.

Dane Co. Deputies received information today that Kruger had recently stolen a Blue Chevrolet Impala in Iowa Co.

Deputies spotted the Impala as it entered Dane Co.

They deployed road spikes on Highway 18/151 near CTH F in the Town of Blue Mounds.

Authorities report that Kruger hit the spikes, which caused him to lose control and roll the vehicle. He was able to get out before the car became engulfed in flames.

Kruger is being held in the Iowa Co. Jail.

Grant Co. Deputies say Kruger was wanted in an armed robbery and kidnapping.

They say he went to a home in Cassville, assaulted a man and took several guns before leaving.

Grant Co. Deputies received a report of shots fired, and searched for Kruger for several hours.

Deputies then got a call from a woman, who reported a kidnapping. She said Kruger went to a home outside of Cassville, kidnapped a man and pointed a gun at a woman.

Kruger allegedly took the at gunpoint man, and took his vehicle and a cattle trailer. The trailer was later unhooked alongside a back road.

The kidnapped man was released in Dodgeville unharmed.


UPDATED Tuesday, September 10, 2013 --- 1:03 p.m.

Dane Co. Deputies confirm that James Kruger, who was wanted on attempted homicide charges, is in custody.

Patrol deputies took him into custody in the Town of Blue Mounds.


UPDATED Tuesday, September 10, 2013 --- 12:18 p.m.

Iowa Co. Sheriff's Department says James Kruger's vehicle was spotted in the Hollandale area around noon today.

He's reportedly driving a stolen 2004 GMC dark green pick-up truck with farm plates 209-110F.

Schools in the Hollandale and Barneveld area are in lockdown.

Iowa Co. deputies are being assisted by air patrols as they search for Kruger.


UPDATED Tuesday, September 10, 2013 --- 10:25 a.m.

Grant Co. deputies and Madison Police are searching for 36-year-old James Kruger, who is wanted on attempted homicide charges.

Kruger is also wanted on charges from Platteville Police.

Kruger is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, do not approach him. Call 911.

Kruger was last seen south of Cassville at approximately 715 a.m.

Grant Co. deputies provided this vehicle description:
2011 Black Honda Civic two door with white decals.
546-UWN (Wisconsin registration)


Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 --- 6:44 a.m.

Madison Police are searching for James Kruger, who is a suspect in an overnight stabbing.

Police say Kruger was at a home in the 2600 block of Coolidge St.

He was asked to leave, and allegedly stabbed one of the occupants. The incident happened around 1:35 a.m.

The victim is currently in the hospital.

Kruger is described as a white man in his mid 30s.

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