Complaint: Teen typed out plan to kill grandparents; bond set at $2 million

Dennis and Letha Kraus. Photo provided by Grand Chute Police Dept.
Dennis and Letha Kraus. Photo provided by Grand Chute Police Dept.(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 14, 2019 at 2:10 PM CDT
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An Outagamie County judge on Tuesday ordered a $2 million cash bond for a Neenah teen charged with killing his grandparents in Grand Chute -- a crime he allegedly detailed in plans found at the scene.

Alexander Kraus, 17, is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide for the April 14 shootings of Dennis Kraus and Letha Kraus.

The Neenah High School junior hung his head and made no eye contact with court officials during his initial court appearance Tuesday. He answered "yes" and "no" to questions asked by the judge about scheduling a preliminary court hearing.

to view the entire court appearance.

"He is 17 years-old, he lives in Neenah, but obviously there are significant concerns for community safety," said Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis, "as it is a case where these two homicides were well thought through and planned in advance."

The judge agreed and ordered a $2 million bond for Kraus.

"Under the circumstances, I believe the defendant is a danger to the public and a flight risk and that a significant cash bail bond is warranted and authorized in this particular matter a cash bail bond in the amount of $2 million," the judge said.

Action 2 News has obtained a criminal complaint detailing what Grand Chute police found Sunday after they were called to the Dennis and Letha Kraus home at 4300 W. Edgewood Dr.

Dispatchers told police that a male called 911 to report he just killed his grandparents and needed to be arrested by police.

The male, later identified as Alexander Kraus, told a dispatcher that he shot his grandparents. He said he had been staying at their Grand Chute home since Saturday morning.

The criminal complaint says a Grand Chute lieutenant entered the home and found Letha Kraus and Dennis Kraus dead in their kitchen.

Police found shotgun shells and a knife in the kitchen.

In a bedroom, an officer found a backpack with a red folder inside. The folder contained "Alexander's typed out plans for killing his grandparents," according to the complaint. The backpack also contained a book about an executioner.

In an upstairs bedroom, the officer found a shotgun on a bed and two gun cases and ammunition. "There was a large amount of various ammunition on the floor, and several more guns located in a gun cabinet," reads the complaint.

Police arrested Alexander Kraus at the W. Edgewood Dr. home. During an interview, Kraus told a detective that he shot his grandparents with a 20-gauge pump action shotgun.

Kraus says he shot his grandfather in the head first and then shot his grandmother.

Autopsies found that both Dennis and Letha Kraus died from gunshot wounds to the head.

The criminal complaint does not contain information on Alexander Kraus' possible motive for killing his grandparents.

During the police interview, Kraus also told investigators that he was planning to cause harm at Neenah High School on Monday. Kraus is a junior at the school.

"That information was learned by our investigators, in speaking with the suspect. Immediately we reached out to the Neenah Police Department and the Neenah Area School District and turned that information over to them," Grand Chute Officer Travis Waas says.

Details of a threat towards the school were not included in the criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

There was extra police presence at Neenah High School Monday. The school made counselors available to students.

"Grand Chute police informed the Neenah Joint School District that the student arrested on two counts of first degree intentional homicide on Sunday also had a plan to cause harm at Neenah High School," reads a statement from the Neenah Joint School District. "Police have indicated that there is no danger to students and staff at the high school and the school day on Monday will proceed as normal. Additional counselors are available to students and there is an extra police presence as an additional precaution. We are appreciative of the work of our local law enforcement and this is another reminder for all of us to remain vigilant in keeping each other safe."

Neither officers nor the school district have detailed the nature of Kraus' alleged school plan. Neenah police tell us they are confident Kraus was acting alone.

If convicted on the homicide charges, he faces a sentence of life in prison.

The court has scheduled a preliminary hearing for June 11 at 1:30 p.m.

Stay with Action 2 News for updates on this breaking news story.



A 17-year-old man being held for the killings of two people in Grand Chute also had a plan to cause harm at Neenah High School, according to the school district.

The district released this statement Monday morning following the arrest of Alexander Kraus:

Alexander Kraus, a junior at Neenah High School, was arrested Sunday after two people were found dead inside a home in the town of Grand Chute.

At about 11:37 a.m., the Grand Chute Police Department did a welfare check at a home on W. Edgewood Drive and discovered the bodies.

"This is a terrible situation, lives were lost. We want to make sure they have time to make notifications to immediate loved ones, but some that are a little bit farther away," says Officer Travis Waas, Grand Chute Police Dept.

Grand Chute Police tell Action 2 News that Kraus was cooperative and spoke with investigators Sunday. That's when he told them he was planning to cause harm at Neenah High School on Monday. Neither officers or the district have detailed the nature of the school plan. Neenah Police tell us they are confident Kraus was acting alone.

Police continue to gather evidence.

"Other search warrants were expected to be completed, If they haven't been completed, then they'd be completed this morning. Basically just searching electronics, laptops cell phones that would belong to the suspect," says Officer Waas.

Stay with Action 2 News for breaking news updates.

Kraus in court

The 17-year-old charged with killing his grandparents in Grand Chute appears in court. STORY:

Posted by WBAY TV-2 on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Grand Chute Police Department crime scene unit arrives

Posted by Tia Johnson WBAY on Sunday, April 14, 2019

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