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Sioux City man pleads guilty in murder case

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 23-year-old Sioux City man has pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder in the bludgeoning of two people.

James Kroll Jr. on Tuesday admitted his crimes in Woodbury County District Court. As part of his plea agreement, Kroll is expecting a 75-year sentence at a hearing next month. Prosecutors had lowered the slaying charge from first-degree murder.

Authorities say Kroll used a crowbar to beat 54-year-old Jeffrey Moravek to death and seriously injure 54-year-old Mary Tope after breaking into Tope's home in June.

Police say Tope's daughter, Emily, was in the house at the time and identified Kroll, her former boyfriend. Court papers say Kroll was distraught that their relationship had ended. She was not injured.

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