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Kruger trials scheduled on Grant, Iowa county charges
Pleas changed on federal gun charges
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The man who faces charges in Grant and Iowa counties after a manhunt in September 2013 changed his plea on federal gun charges.

James M. Kruger, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of felon possession of a firearm in U.S. District Court in Madison July 2.

Kruger originally pleaded not guilty to the charges Sept. 30. His federal trial was set to begin Monday.

The federal charges include penalties of 10 years in prison.

Kruger still faces charges in Grant, Iowa and Dane counties for a string of incidents that started in Cassville and ended near Blue Mounds Sept. 10, 2013.

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

Kruger’s trial on the Grant County charges is set for Aug. 4–7, with a status conference July 20 at 11 a.m.

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 Aug. 10 at 11:30 a.m.

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.

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.