A Sioux City man facing a first-degree murder trial has made a deal with prosecutors, and spared himself a life prison sentence.
Police say 23-year-old James Kroll, Jr. broke into 504 39th Street Place on June 13th. They say Kroll used a crowbar to beat and kill Jeffrey Moravek, 54, and severely injure Mary Tope, 54, as they slept.
Kroll faced life for first-degree murder, attempted murder, and first-degree burglary. His trial was slated for January 29th.
Instead, he pled guilty to second degree murder and attempted murder. He'll have to pay restitution and serve a prison term of 75 years, with a chance for parole after 52 and a half.
"I am going to hereby judge him guilty of the offenses of murder in the second-degree and attempt to commit murder," said District Court Judge Duane Hoffmeyer in the plea hearing Tuesday morning.
Police haven't offered a motive for the crime. But, court documents say Kroll once lived in Tope's home while dating her daughter Emily. The documents also say Kroll and Emily broke up, and Tope banned Kroll from the house in '09, after he was charged with drug violations.
Kroll's sentencing is set for February 7th at three p.m.
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