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Kruger sentenced in Grant County
Jury rejects insanity defense in September 2013 crimes
James Kruger attempts to explain his state of mind during a trial to determine whether or not he was competent when he committed several crimes in September 2013. While the jury thought he suffered a mental defect, they rejected the idea that he was not in control of his actions.

James Kruger, who has bounced from county to county, from between state and federal court since leading law enforcement on a manhunt in September 2013, was sentenced Tuesday evening in Grant County Court.

"I want to apologize for ever stepping inside this county," Kruger told Judge Robert VanDeHey during sentencing Tuesday evening, after a jury rejected his NGI - or not guilty by reason of insanity - defense.

As part of a joint plea agreement made beforehand, VanDeHey sentenced Kruger to 25 years on one count (14 years in prison, 11 years extended supervision) with two other charges at six years each, all of which runs concurrent to the 15 years Kruger received in Federal Court this past September.

VanDeHey was tempted to forego the agreement since Kruger attempted to recant from it, but the judge noted that he believed some of the moves Kruger made were due to his mental illness, and that he was also facing some very serious charges in other counties.

"When you are not on your medication, you are a dangerous person," VanDeHey told the defendant. "You are not even safe in jail when you are not on your meds."

During the day-long trial, Kruger took the stand in his own defense to try and prove he was not in a right mind when he attempted to rob his uncle at the uncle's home in Cassville, then fled fromt the scene, taking a couple hostage outside of the Mississippi River community.

More coverage of this case will be in the April 7 edition of the Grant County Herald Independent.