- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Family members of a Sioux Falls woman who was killed in her home are upset that the suspect in the case was paroled late last year despite a criminal history that had kept him behind bars for most of his adult life.

Christopher Kryger, 40, is being held on $1 million bond in the March 14 death of Kari Anne Kirkegaard. Authorities say she was raped and strangled and left in a bathtub. He made his initial court appearance Monday on murder, rape and burglary charges but did not enter a plea. His attorney, Mark Kadi, didn’t respond to a phone message seeking comment left after-hours Monday.

Kryger entered prison in 1992 on a 40-year sentence for arson and aggravated assault. He was briefly paroled in 2008 - after being denied parole more than 10 times in six years - and returned to prison on a parole violation in 2010. During the time he was free he was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman but the charge was dropped for lack of evidence. Two women also took out protection orders against Kryger in 2009.

After his return to prison in 2010, Kryger was denied parole six more times before his release last December, according to the Argus Leader.

Some members of Kirkegaard’s family cursed at Kryger as he was led from the courtroom Monday. Before the hearing, deputies escorted brother Brian Johnson out of the courtroom because he was mouthing words at Kryger, according to KSFY-TV, which later asked Johnson what he had said.

“Tell him I was going to kill him,” Johnson told the station. “He should have never been out. He choked my sister and if I get a hold of him I’m going to choke him out myself. That’s a fact.”

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