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Man accused of shooting mother, son says he was 'devastated' when he learned of their deaths

WCPO kelli kramer.png
Posted at 11:19 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 23:53:21-04

BURLINGTON, Ky. — Attorneys will make closing arguments Wednesday in the case of Joshua Ward, who stands charged with murder in the 2018 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her 9-year-old son.

Boone County prosecutors said the victim, Kelli Kramer, was one of several women the married Ward dated simultaneously. His plan — he admitted under oath — had involved having multiple women move into his home and form a polyamorous family.

RELATED: Aiden Kramer was overjoyed to have his mom back in his life, grandparents say

Ward and Kramer broke up in mid-2017 — after, Ward claims, he discovered she was also seeing other people and may have been involved in prostitution.

"He was upset, as anybody would be, finding out somebody that was going to be hopefully a long lasting family lied and put us all in jeopardy,” Ward’s wife, Karen, said.

Ward denied on the stand that the breakup had created a motive for him to kill Kramer or her son. He claimed never to have contacted her afterward.

But a prosecutor said he stalked her afterward and investigators matched shell casings from the crime scene to shell casings found at a property where Ward had been known to shoot targets.

Ward claimed he stayed home alone the night of his ex’s death and found out the following morning.

"I was devastated,” he said. “I was crying. I was very upset and I just couldn't fathom."

Attorneys will make their closing arguments Wednesday morning. If convicted, Ward could spend the rest of his life in prison.