Plea agreement likely in Josh Kruger murder case

Josh Kruger headshot and Robert Edmond Davis mugshot
From left, Josh Kruger and Robert Edmond Davis.

A plea agreement is expected in the Josh Kruger murder case that would require Kruger’s alleged murderer to serve at least 15 years in prison.

On March 12, accused murderer Robert Edmond Davis appeared in court at the Criminal Justice Center. During the brief proceeding, Davis waived his right to a preliminary hearing and conveyed he will plead guilty to Kruger’s murder.

“I can confirm that Mr. Davis waived his right to a preliminary hearing today [March 12] and has informed the court that he intends to plead guilty to Josh Kruger’s murder and to shooting at another individual in a separate incident. That person was not injured,” Jane Roh, a spokesperson for District Attorney Larry Krasner, said in an email.

Davis, 20, allegedly gunned down Kruger inside his South Philadelphia row home on Oct. 2, 2023. Kruger, 39, was a freelance writer and former city employee at the time of his death.

Davis allegedly shot Kruger seven times in his chest and abdomen, then fled the scene. Kruger died a short time later. Davis was arrested three weeks later, after contacting his relatives. He remains incarcerated at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

According to published reports, Kruger began having sex with Davis when Davis was only 15 years old. However, advocates for Kruger have questioned those accounts.

Municipal Court Judge Patrick F. Dugan presided over the March 12 court proceeding, according to court records.

Under a tentative agreement, Davis would plead guilty to third-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime regarding Kruger’s death. Davis also would plead guilty to aggravated assault and illegal gun possession for firing a gun at someone on a SEPTA platform a few weeks prior to Kruger’s death.

In return, the DA’s Office would drop a first-degree murder charge against Davis and Davis would be required to serve a minimum of 15 years in prison, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Andrea Konow, an attorney for Davis, couldn’t be reached for comment.

A formal arraignment for Davis is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 2 in Courtroom 1105 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1315 Filbert Street in Center City.

Kruger was an award-winning journalist who wrote evocatively about gun violence, living with HIV and services for the unhoused. He was a parishioner of St. Mark’s Church in Rittenhouse and lavished devotion on his pet cat Mason. Kruger also took great pride in renovating his Point Breeze rowhome, according to friends.

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