January 21, 2016 6:14 pm
Updated: January 21, 2016 8:08 pm

James Kruse sentenced to life in prison for 2014 murder of Calgary prostitute

James Edward Kruse, seen in Sept. 2014.

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CALGARY – A plea deal was made Thursday in the 2014 murder of a Calgary prostitute, and a man has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years.

James Kruse, originally charged with the first-degree murder of 37-year-old Kathy Reid, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

Court heard Kruse was a regular customer of the stroll, and was a repeat customer of Reid’s.

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Kruse picked her up on the morning of Sept. 3, 2014. Court heard while they drove northeast of the city, he decided he wanted to kill her, and choked her with both hands.

At one point, Kruse said he came to his senses and let go, then grabbed on again and choked her until she was dead.

He eventually pulled over on 17 Avenue S.E. and called 911, telling the operator she died of an overdose.

In an interview with a homicide detective, Kruse confessed to strangling Reid. Court heard he wrote a letter of apology to the victim’s family and appeared to be appalled by his actions.

Apology letter flipped

Reid’s family submitted written victim impact statements. Her sister wrote: “my heart breaks for Kathy’s child. The pain you have caused is unbearable. I will never forgive you for killing my sister.”

Court has been told both the victim and accused struggled with addictions to crack cocaine.

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