Man accused of murdering Philadelphia journalist pleads guilty to murder

Court documents show that the man accused of fatally shooting Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger last October pleaded guilty Monday to third-degree murder.

Robert Davis, 20, was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison for the murder charge pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, as well as 1 to 2 years for a separate count of possessing a firearm without a license.

Both the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Public Defenders Association declined to comment on the settlement obtained by CNN.

Kruger, 39, was shot and killed in his home in the Point Breeze neighborhood of South Philadelphia in the early morning hours of Oct. 2, 2023. Davis, who was 19 at the time, was arrested for the murder three weeks later.

Court documents revealed that police determined that Davis and Kruger were having an “intimate/sexual relationship” before Kruger’s death.

Kruger was a well-known journalist and columnist advocating for issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and support for the homeless in publications such as The Philadelphia Citizen and The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2014 and 2015, Kruger won the Society of Professional Journalists award for his commentary on Pennsylvania newspapers. He also worked for the Philadelphia city government.

According to LinkedIn, Kruger’s work is based on his personal experiences living with HIV and homelessness. In his profile, he described himself as “a destroyer of stigma and bureaucratic silos” and “a believer in the common good.” He used social media as a platform to describe his own experiences struggling with addiction and continuing to work with people struggling with addiction in Philadelphia.

He worked for the city of Philadelphia for five years, according to his website and LinkedIn profile. He collaborated with the Department of Public Health, the Office of Homeless Services and the Mayor’s Office.

“We are shocked and saddened by Josh’s death,” then-Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement provided to CNN in October.

“Josh cared deeply about our city and its residents, which was evident in both his public service and his work,” Kenney said. “His intelligence, creativity, passion and wit shone brightly in everything he did – and his light was dimmed far too soon. We were extremely fortunate to call him a friend and we pray for all who knew and loved him.”

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