Sen. Kevin Cramer’s Son Charged With Manslaughter In Crash That Killed North Dakota Deputy

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The 42-year-old son of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer was charged Thursday with manslaughter and fleeing an officer after a police pursuit resulted in a crash that killed a North Dakota sheriff’s deputy who had simply laid a tire deflation system on the street and was taking cowl behind his squad automotive, based on courtroom paperwork.

Ian Cramer, of Bismarck, was touring over 100 mph and already had two flat tires when he slammed head-on into Deputy Paul Martin’s squad automotive on Wednesday, pushing it “directly into Martin’s person and launching him for about 100 feet,” based on charging paperwork. Martin, 53, was killed.

Ian Cramer is scheduled to make his first courtroom look Friday on a number of felony counts together with manslaughter, fleeing a police officer and reckless endangerment. Court information didn’t checklist an legal professional for him, and Sen. Kevin Cramer declined an interview after costs had been filed out of respect for Martin’s household.

Earlier Thursday, Cramer launched a press release saying: “We ask the public for prayers for the lost officer’s family and colleagues who serve us every day and are grateful for all they do for us.”

This undated photo provided by the Mercer County, N.D., Sheriff's Office shows Sheriff's Deputy Paul Martin with his retired K9 Goliath, who died in 2019. Martin, 53, died Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in a crash involving Ian Cramer, the 42-year-old son of Republican U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.
This undated picture supplied by the Mercer County, N.D., Sheriff’s Office reveals Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Martin together with his retired K9 Goliath, who died in 2019. Martin, 53, died Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in a crash involving Ian Cramer, the 42-year-old son of Republican U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office through AP

According to Bismarck police, Ian Cramer was pushed by his mom to Sanford Health emergency room in Bismarck at round 4:30 p.m. Wednesday over issues about his psychological well being. When she bought out of the SUV, Cramer took the wheel and crashed by means of a door to get out of an enclosed ambulance bay on the hospital’s emergency division.

One of Sen. Kevin Cramer’s daughters tracked the SUV by means of a cellphone and alerted authorities.

Over an hour later, a deputy in Mercer County noticed Cramer and the Chevrolet Tahoe in Hazen, a group about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Bismarck. The North Dakota Highway Patrol stated in a information launch {that a} chase then started.

Initial efforts to cease Cramer didn’t work. Charging paperwork say an officer from close by Beulah had used a tire deflation system, which flattened two of Cramer’s tires, however he saved driving on North Dakota Highway 200. About 5 miles exterior of Hazen, Beulah Chief of Police Frank Senn and Martin deployed extra deflation gadgets and took cowl behind their vehicles. Cramer swerved then hit Martin’s car.

Cramer allegedly began to run away after the crash. Senn subdued him on the bottom and was injured as Cramer resisted, based on courtroom paperwork.

Martin was taken to a hospital the place he was pronounced useless. Cramer was evaluated at a hospital then jailed.

Ian Cramer’s father, a first-term Republican senator, wrote that his son “suffers from serious mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations.”

On Wednesday, Ian Cramer had insisted on “going to his brother Ike,” who died in 2018, based on the senator’s assertion, which doesn’t additional clarify what meaning. Alarmed, Kris Cramer then took her son to the ER.

In 2013, Ian Cramer was charged with misdemeanor easy assault for allegedly injuring his brother’s head; he pleaded responsible. His report additionally features a 2010 quotation for driving beneath the affect in Arizona, and a number of other visitors citations throughout this yr and and final, together with one as latest because the day earlier than the crash, for driving with a suspended license.

Martin was an 18-year veteran of the sheriff’s workplace, which stated he was married and had three kids.

In a put up to the sheriff’s workplace Facebook web page, Mercer County Sheriff Terry Ternes stated Martin “is our beloved brother in law enforcement, a husband, father, and grandpa. Our wound is raw, and our hearts are broken.”

Whitney Zeadow, 36, who lives close to Hazen, stated Martin was as soon as her neighbor; she generally cared for the retired police canines he saved when he was away from house.

“He was just a fantastic man,” Zeadow stated, combating again tears. “He was the type that would be your champion. He was just there to support the community, help the kids. Any little thing. He was just a joy to be around.”

Kevin Cramer was elected to the Senate in 2018 after serving three phrases within the House. He has been a staunch advocate for legislation enforcement. He additionally has co-sponsored laws to handle shortages of psychological well being suppliers in colleges and increase psychological well being care companies for navy households and veterans. Critics, nonetheless, say he has backed cuts that might put these with psychological sickness vulnerable to dropping protection.

In his assertion Wednesday, Cramer stated that his household grieves with “the family of the hero who tried to help Ian.”

The Cramer household has endured tragedy earlier than.

Isaac “Ike” Cramer in 2007 started relationship a lady who was the mom of an toddler, Abel. Three years later, the lady was killed by her estranged husband. Kevin and Kris Cramer adopted the kid, who’s now a youngster. Cramer additionally has two daughters and 6 grandchildren, based on his Senate web site.

In 2018, quickly after Kevin Cramer introduced his run for the Senate, Ike Cramer died from liver and kidney failure following a protracted battle with alcohol dependancy. He was 35.

After Martin’s loss of life, some who posted on the sheriff’s division’s Facebook web page stated the deputy had taken them to jail. They described him as a pleasant individual and stated he was all the time respectful.

Cody Schank stated he wound up in jail himself however nonetheless praised Martin.

In a personal message despatched to The Associated Press, Schank wrote: “Paul will be missed deeply and by many, it’s a terrible situation, and very sad it had to happen to such a kind hearted soul such as his.”


Salter reported from O’Fallon, Missouri. Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and Heather Hollingsworth in Mission, Kansas, contributed to this report.

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