Alexander Kraus was a seventeen year old Teen Killer from Wisconsin that would fatally shoot his Grandparents. According to court documents Alexander Kraus planned for sometime the murders of his Grandparents as police officers found a notebook filled with notes on how he was going to get away with the murders and plans he had for his high school.
Police say that Alexander Kraus, who did not live with his Grandparents, would shoot and kill the pair with a long gun. A welfare check at the home the next day would reveal the two bodies. Alexander Kraus would be found guilty of the double murder but his mental health has come into questions as the court are seeking a mental health evaluation before sentencing will be passed. In the end Alexander Kraus was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for forty years
Alexander Kraus 2023 Information
Alexander Kraus was sentenced to life in prison
Alexander Kraus More News
The two people found dead Sunday at a home on West Edgewood Drive were the grandparents of the 17-year-old boy accused of killing them.
Dennis L. Kraus, 74, and Letha G. Kraus, 73, were found by police responding to a welfare check at the home shortly after 11:30 a.m., the Grand Chute Police Department said Monday afternoon. Alexander M. Kraus, 17, was arrested at the scene.
The two victims were shot to death with a long gun at the home in Grand Chute where Alexander Kraus was arrested, Travis Waas, a spokesman for the Grand Chute Police Department, told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.
Kraus wasn’t living with his grandparents at the time, but was only visiting, Waas said. Waas wouldn’t discuss exactly what investigators have learned from Kraus since his arrest, but indicated more details would be released when he appears in court.
Kraus is being held at the Outagamie County Jail on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He was expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
Kraus had also planned to “cause harm” at Neenah High School, authorities said Monday.
An email sent to Neenah High School parents from the Neenah Joint School District confirmed that Grand Chute police had learned of the potential threat as part of the investigation of the two deaths, said Jim Strick, Neenah Joint School District communications manager.
“The student is in custody in Outagamie County and police believe there is no danger to students and staff at Neenah High School,” the email said. “The school day on Monday will proceed as planned. Additional counselors will be available to assist students.”
Kraus was a junior at Neenah High School. The Neenah Police Department wasn’t aware of the threat to the school prior to the investigation in Grand Chute and hadn’t had contact with Kraus in the past, Neenah Police Chief Aaron Olson said Monday.
Alexander Kraus Other News
A jury ruled Thursday that Alexander Kraus is criminally responsible for the murders of his grandparents.
Kraus, 19, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for shooting Dennis and Letha Kraus on April 14, 2019, at their Grand Chute home, but also entered a plea of not guilty by reason or mental disease or defect.
This week, a jury had to decide if Kraus suffered from a mental disease at the time of the crime, and if, as a result, he lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions or to conform to the law.
Although the panel ruled Kraus indeed had a mental disease, the panel found he still had the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions.
Kraus now faces two life prison terms, with Judge Mitchell Metropulos deciding if Kraus will be eligible for parole and, if so, when. Sentencing was set for Aug. 16.
Earlier Thursday, the jury asked about the scenario it ultimately returned with, asking if it answered “Yes” to Question 1, but “no” to Question 2, would Kraus still go to jail. The jury was referred back to the jury instruction for direction.
Unlike the guilt or innocence phase of a criminal trial, the defense had the burden of proof in the competency phase of the case. The trial started Monday. Jury deliberations started Wednesday afternoon, and continued for about five hours Thursday.
According to the criminal complaint, Kraus admitted to shooting his grandparents but a motive was not disclosed. During the investigation, police found “several pages containing Alexander’s typed out plans for killing his grandparents,” the complaint states
Alexander Kraus Sentencing
A Neenah teenager who shot and killed his grandparents at their home in Grand Chute in 2019 will serve at least 40 years of a life sentence.
Alexander M. Kraus, now 20, showed little emotion in court Friday as Outagamie County Judge Mitchell Metropulos sentenced him to life in prison and ordered that he serve at least 40 years, minus the 3½ years he’s already been in custody, before he can petition for supervised release.
“Obviously, the severity of the offense is significant,” Metropulos said, “as horrible of a crime as we have. Mr. Kraus killed his grandparents, and he killed both, one right after the other, and it was without mercy, and it was with intent, and it was well planned out.”
Kraus previously pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Dennis Kraus, 74, and Letha Kraus, 73.
“I loved my grandparents,” Kraus told the court before sentencing. “I’m so sorry.”
The mandatory penalty for first-degree intentional homicide in Wisconsin is life in prison, but Metropulos was empowered to decide when Kraus would be eligible for supervised release.
He set that at 20 years for each count and that the periods run consecutively for a total of 40 years.
Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis recommended that Kraus be sentenced to life in prison without release. She said the killing of his grandparents was part of Kraus’ larger plan — developed over 18 months — to carry out mass murder at Neenah High School. Kraus was a junior at the school.
“I do not believe the community is or will be safe with the defendant in it,” Tempelis told the court. “I also believe significant punishment for the horrific murder of two wonderful people in our community is not only appropriate but is expected.”
“In light of this investigation,” Tempelis continued, “I believe the murders of Dennis and Letha Kraus saved the lives of countless students at Neenah High School.”
Gregory Petit, an attorney for Kraus, requested eligibility for supervised release after 20 years, which is the minimum under law. He said Kraus’ plan for a mass shooting at Neenah High School “was so delusional, there was no way that would have happened.”
“This wasn’t a case of an evil person,” Petit said. “It was a kid with mental health issues that did something horrible.
During a June 2021 trial, Kraus tried to convince a jury that a mental illness kept him from being able to understand what he did was wrong, but he wasn’t successful.
Kraus had been awaiting sentencing ever since because, two months after the trial, Metropulos determined Kraus wasn’t competent to proceed to sentencing and ordered him to get treatment until his competency was restored.
After three separate evaluations, Metropulos ruled in June that Kraus was competent to proceed.
Kraus was 17 when he called 911 shortly after 11:30 a.m. April 14, 2019, telling an emergency dispatcher “he had just killed his grandparents and needed to be arrested by the police,” according to a criminal complaint filed two days later in Outagamie County.
That same day, police found the bodies of Dennis and Letha Kraus at their home on Edgewood Drive in Grand Chute. A police officer who searched the victims’ home found a backpack with a folder inside that contained Kraus’ typed plan for killing his grandparents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Alexander Kraus Now
Alexander Kraus is currently undergoing a mental health assessment before he is sentenced