Senate Republican’s Son Arrested After Deadly Police Chase

The son of North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer appeared in court last Friday on multiple charges including manslaughter in connection to a December 6 police chase and crash that killed a sheriff’s deputy, the Associated Press reported.

Ian Cramer, 42, was charged on December 7 with multiple counts, including fleeing a police officer, reckless endangerment, and manslaughter after he fled a Bismark hospital and subsequently crashed into a squad car, killing Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Martin, 53, who was taking cover behind the vehicle.

At last Friday’s hearing, District Judge Bobby Weiler accepted the prosecution’s request for a $500,000 cash bail and ordered that Cramer undergo a mental health evaluation. Cramer’s plea hearing will be scheduled for a later date.

In requesting the high cash bail, Mercer County State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz cited the defendant’s criminal record and said he planned to file additional drug charges against Cramer for possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia.

Cramer, who appeared in the hearing via a video link, admitted that he was receiving mental health treatment before his arrest.

According to Bismark police, Cramer’s mother had taken him to the emergency room at Sanford Health in Bismark at about 4:30 p.m. on December 6 concerned over his mental health. As his mother exited the vehicle after parking in the enclosed ambulance bay, Cramer got behind the wheel and smashed through a door of the bay to flee.

Driving at speeds of 100 mph, Cramer repeatedly eluded police, even after a Beulah police officer set up a road spike that flattened two of Cramer’s tires.

Outside of Hazen, Beulah Police Chief Frank Senn and Deputy Paul Martin set up another road spike and took cover behind their vehicles. As Cramer approached, he swerved and crashed head-on into Martin’s vehicle, launching the deputy about 100 feet.

Martin, an 18-year veteran of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.