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Kruger Grant County trial delayed until November
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The Grant County trial of a man who faces 42 charges in Grant, Iowa and Dane counties has been rescheduled.

James M. Kruger, 38, was to stand trial this week on 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 Grant County Circuit Court in Lancaster.

Instead, following a status conference Wednesday, the trial has been rescheduled to Nov. 16–25, with a status conference Oct. 7, according to court records.

Kruger pleaded not guilty by mental disease or defect to the charges in October 2013.

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’s trial on the Iowa County charges is set for Oct. 5–8, with a pretrial conference Monday at 11:30 a.m.

Kruger also faces a Dane County charge of fleeing or eluding an officer for an incident in August 2013, and charges of felon possession of a firearm, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and felony bail jumping for an incident that occurred one day before the Grant and Iowa county incidents. 

A status conference on those charges is scheduled for Aug. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

Kruger pleaded guilty to two counts of felon possession of a firearm in U.S. District Court in Madison July 2. The federal charges include penalties of 10 years in prison.

Kruger led law enforcement officers from four different counties on an extended search and high-speed chase Sept. 10, 2013. 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.