US Senator's Son Pleads Not Guilty

Ian Cramer has not yet entered a plea on the most serious charges he faces, though
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2023 7:29 AM CST
Updated Mar 5, 2024 12:00 AM CST
Charges Against US Senator's Son Upgraded
Ian Cramer.   (McLean County Sheriff's Office via AP)
UPDATE Mar 5, 2024 12:00 AM CST

Sen. Kevin Cramer's son on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges related to alleged crimes that took place before the police chase that ended with a North Dakota sheriff's deputy dead, but Ian Cramer has yet to enter a plea on the main charges against him. The 42-year-old's not guilty plea applies to charges that he stole his mother's vehicle and crashed it into the ambulance bay garage door of a hospital, the AP reports. The police chase followed when he was later spotted about 70 miles away. He will enter a plea on charges of homicide, reckless endangerment, preventing arrest, and drug possession in a later court appearance.

Dec 15, 2023 7:29 AM CST

The son of North Dakota GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer is now facing an upgraded set of charges after being accused of killing a Mercer County sheriff's deputy during a police chase. Although 42-year-old Ian Cramer of Bismarck was initially charged with manslaughter following the fatal crash on Dec. 6, KFYR reports that Cramer is now charged with homicide while fleeing a police officer in the death of Mercer County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Martin, 53, who was honored in a Beulah funeral service on Wednesday.

Per the AP, the new homicide charge claims that Martin's death was caused negligently instead of recklessly—charges that carry higher maximum penalties if Cramer is convicted, including up to 20 years behind bars and a possible $20,000 fine. Charging documents say that Cramer was fleeing at speeds of up to 100mph before he was slowed down by police road spikes and crashed into Martin's car, which then hit Martin, who was standing nearby, and launched him about 100 feet. Valley News Live reports that other charges against Cramer include fleeing a peace officer, preventing arrest, reckless endangerment, and possession of various illegal drugs.

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Sen. Cramer has said that his son was suffering from a mental health episode when the crash took place. The younger Cramer has been in trouble with the law before: He faced a misdemeanor simple assault charge for injuring his brother's head in 2013, to which he pleaded guilty. He also has a guilty plea for assaulting his brother and driving under the influence, as well as multiple traffic citations, and he's been suspected in a Houston assault. Cramer, who's being held on $500,000 bond and has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, is set to appear in court on Monday. (More Kevin Cramer stories.)

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