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Deputies testify at James Kruger's preliminary hearing

Kruger accused of multicounty crime spree that ended in high-speed chase

LANCASTER, Wis. - Deputies testify at James Kruger's preliminary hearing

James Kruger was in Grant County court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

Kruger is accused of a multicounty crime spree that ended in a high-speed chase after taking a man hostage.

Chief Deputy Jack Johnson said Kruger assaulted his uncle at his house, stole guns and coins from a safe, and kidnapped a farmer in his truck.

Deputy Adam Day detailed the robbery, saying Kruger admitted to Day in a recording that he owed someone money and thought his uncle had $1 million.

When the alleged crimes and high-speed chase ended in a ditch off Highway 151 near Mount Horeb, Day transported Kruger to jail and noted his behavior.

"I wouldn't call it wigged out or paranoid. I'd call it under the influence of crack cocaine. That's what he told me he was under," said Day.

Kruger's defense attorney argued he never hurt the kidnapped farmer, who escaped when they stopped in Dodgeville.

Kruger's mother, Barbara Nicholson, told News3 her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 14. She said he was arrested Aug. 29 and held in the Dane County Jail.

Kruger called home, claiming his medication wasn't working. She said he wasn't given his medication at the jail. News3 hasn't been able to independently confirm that.

Nicholson said he described feeling delusional when he was let out of jail.

Ozanne told News 3 in a previous interview Kruger was in court Sept. 4 on a charge of eluding an officer, and an assistant district attorney only asked for a signature bond because they thought he would be held on a probation hold, but his probation ended in August.

Nicholson said he'd been without medication for five days and then "this horror happened".

Kruger faces 16 charges in Grant County, another 21 charges in Iowa County, plus a federal charge for a felon who had a firearm.

His arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 1, where he is expected to enter a plea.

James Kruger preliminary hearing in Grant County

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