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Competency exam ordered for Kruger in Iowa County
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The result of an Iowa County court hearing for the man who led Grant and Iowa county authorities on a two-county high-speed chase was the same as the result of his last Grant County court appearance.

Iowa County Circuit Judge William D. Dyke ordered a competency examination Nov. 20 for James Kruger, 36, Madison.

Kruger pleaded not guilty by mental disease or defect to 16 Grant County charges Oct. 31. Grant County Circuit Judge Robert VanDeHey also ordered a competency examination that day.

Kruger has not pleaded to the 22 Iowa County charges he also faces yet.

Kruger’s next Grant County court appearance is set for Monday at 11 a.m. Kruger’s Grant County attorney, Roseann Oliveto, has filed a motion for a change of venue in the case.

In Grant County, Kruger faces eight counts of felony bail jumping, and one count each of fleeing or eluding an officer, armed robbery, strangulation and suffocation, discharging a firearm at or toward a person, taking hostages and releasing without bodily harm, intentionally pointing a firearm at a person, and misdemeanor battery.

In Iowa County, Kruger faces nine counts of felony bail jumping, three counts of fleeing or eluding an officer, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, and one count each of taking and driving a vehicle without consent, driving or operating a vehicle without consent, carrying a concealed weapon, and theft of movable property of up to $2,500.

Kruger also faces four Iowa County traffic charges — driving the wrong way on a divided highway, failure to stop at a stop sign, reckless driving and first-offense operating with a restricted controlled substance.

Kruger’s next Iowa County court appearance is a status conference scheduled for Dec. 10 at 2 p.m.

Kruger was indicted by a federal grand jury Sept. 18 on a charge of felon possession of a handgun, which has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Kruger’s next federal court date has not been scheduled yet.

Kruger led law enforcement officers from four different counties on an extended search and high speed chase Sept. 10, initially in connection with a stabbing in Madison Sept. 9. No charges have been filed in connection with the stabbing, according to court records.

Kruger is accused of beating and robbing his uncle in Cassville, taking a man hostage and stealing his truck, stealing another vehicle after his hostage escaped in Dodgeville, and leading authorities on a chase, often at high speeds, on U.S. 18 in Grant and Iowa counties before he was stopped near Blue Mounds.

Kruger was free on a $500 signature bond Sept. 4 after he was charged on a Dane County felony eluding charge Aug. 28. Kruger pleaded not guilty to that charge Oct. 21. Kruger also faces Dane County charges of felon possession of a firearm, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and felony bail jumping.

According to court records, Kruger’s Dane County cases are pending because his Dane County attorney, Dennis Burke, was granted a motion to withdraw from the case.

Kruger is in the Iowa County jail in lieu of $500,000 cash bond.