Vacation violation: Kroboth back in jail after Oregon excursion
Two years after he was released from prison, the man who donned a vampire mask and attacked his estranged wife as she slept is back at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail following a January vacation that resulted in his being charged with a probation violation.
According to documents filed in Albemarle County Circuit Court, Kurt Kroboth, who was convicted of attempted murder in 2006 in a case that seemed inspired by a Hollywood script, had been granted permission to travel January 5 to 11 to San Francisco from his home in Green Valley, Arizona. The alleged violation occurred after he extended his trip farther north, to Eugene, Oregon, where one of his two sons, now a student at the University of Oregon, turned him in.
According to a report from Eugene Police, Kroboth showed up at his son's residence on January 6. His son wasn't home, so the estranged father told his son's roommates he'd return the following morning. Alerted to his father's presence, his son contacted police, explaining that he wanted no contact with Kroboth.
Police dispatched to the residence on January 7 discovered Kroboth parked nearby in a white Land Rover owned by his girlfriend and travel companion. According to the report, police contacted Kroboth's parole officer, discovered he was in violation of his travel permit, and instructed him to return immediately to Arizona. Instead, the now 57-year-old former financier expressed a plan to continue with the Oregonian leg of his trip.
"He said he wanted to 'visit the University of Oregon' and see 'Hayward Field,'" the report states. "I thought this was a bad idea, and told him so," wrote the officer. "He disagreed."
The officer had University of Oregon Police issue a "Letter of Trespass" banning Kroboth from the school's property, but according to the report, Kroboth told the officer that he didn't plan to change his travel plans.
"He and his girlfriend were going to continue to Portland, and then to 'the coast,' 'to Newport," and to 'spend time with friends,'" the officer wrote.
While Kroboth is banned from contacting his ex-wife, Jane Levin, he told the Hook at the time of his release that there was "no legal impediment" to resuming a relationship with his sons.
There may be other impediments, however.
His son has not welcomed the repeated efforts his father has made to contact him by mail, email and phone, according to the report, which says the son was frightened by his father's visit and that he sought a restraining order, which was initially denied. The son did not return the Hook's call requesting comment.
Kroboth, who served seven years of a 10-year sentence, has previously decried his conviction, calling it an "overreaching prosecution," and claiming he never intended to kill his wife.
"There was an assault," Kroboth told the Hook soon after his release. "If you think about it, there was no weapon. I came upon a sleeping person. Had I intended to kill someone, it would have been easy to do."
The details of the attack, however, are chilling, and courtroom testimony included evidence he had tried to hire someone else to kill her before taking action himself on Halloween night, 2004, when he arrived at the Albemarle County home they once shared, cut the phone and electricity lines and then attempted to subdue the sleeping woman with a chloroform-soaked rag.
She successfully fought back as he attempted to throw her over the second floor landing to the foyer some 15 feet below. Kroboth fled, Levin testified, after she begged him not to kill her for the children's sake.
Kroboth has remained defiant about the conviction, and in 2012, he demanded the Hook take steps to cloak stories written about the case so they wouldn't appear when his name was Googled. He claimed the articles were "spectacularized" but declined to offer specific details of how, and claimed he should be permitted to reveal his history to prospective employers rather than having them discover the stories about him online.
Appearing via video in Albemarle County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning, February 26, Kroboth announced his intent to represent himself and expressed frustration that his current incarceration had already lasted 45 days. "I'm eager to get back home," he told the court.
His trial has been set for March 6, and while he has three years of a suspended sentence hanging over him, Hook legal analyst David Heilberg, who once represented Kroboth, says it's unlikely Kroboth would have the full sentence reinstated.
"You make a case that your motives were good, that the contact wasn't that bad," he says. "It would be a shocker if the sanction were to take it all back. Maybe it's a time-served situation. That's where being held is a blessing in disguise."Read more on: Kurt Kroboth