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June 11, 2024

Man who fatally shot journalist Josh Kruger sentenced 15 to 30 years in prison

Robert Davis, 20, who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, was in a relationship with Kruger, 39, at the time of the shooting, police say. His family claims it began while he was a teenager.

Courts Homicides
Josh Kruger sentencing Josh Kruger PHL/Facebook

Robert Davis, 20, was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison for the death of Philly journalist Josh Kruger, above, who was fatally shot at his Point Breeze home in October 2023. Davis pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and related charges as part of a plea agreement.

The man accused of fatally shooting journalist Josh Kruger last October was sentenced Monday to 15 to 30 years in prison as part of a plea agreement, court records shows. 

Davis, 20, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and related charges on Monday. He also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and illegal gun possession for his role in another shooting at the Tasker-Morris SEPTA station that took place Sept. 25. 

Kruger, 39, was shot seven times at his home on the 2300 block of Watkins Street following a break-in on Oct. 2. Kruger went outside to seek help from his neighbors, but collapsed on the sidewalk and later died at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Davis was arrested a few weeks later. 

According to police, Davis and Kruger were in a relationship at the time of the shooting. Davis' family told the Inquirer that the relationship began when Davis was 15, and that he had become addicted to methamphetamine – provided by Kruger – during their relationship. His family also claimed that Kruger had threatened to post sexually explicit videos of Davis online.

Investigators believe Kruger had been arguing with someone at his front door and told the person to leave about three minutes before the shooting, based on a voicemail recovered from Kruger's phone. The number matched one belonging to Davis. 

According to court records, Davis had previously stolen guns from Kruger and broken a window in his home. A handgun found in Davis' bedroom at his family home reportedly matched cartridge casings found at the scene of the shooting. 

Kruger was an award-winning journalist and a former spokesperson for the city's Office of Homeless Services. He worked freelance for multiple publications, including PhillyVoice, WHYY, the Inquirer and Philadelphia Magazine.