FT WAYNE, Ind.–Matthew Cramer was led away from court in chains and an orange jumpsuit Monday, bound for prison for the rest of his life, without parole. A judge in Allen County handed down that sentence for the murder and dismemberment of Shane Nquyen, 50, in April 2021.
Cramer was found guilty in a week-long trial. The jury recommended the life without parole sentence.
Cramer apologized to Nguyen’s family during the hearing. He had admitted to police in an interview that he beat Nquyen’s head against the concrete floor of a mini storage, then went to a store to get a machete and a shovel. When he returned, he chopped up Nquyen’s body, taking over 30 strikes to chop off the man’s head, while his friend, Jacob Careon-Hamilton, 21, filed the bloody affair.
Cramer’s lawyer had painted him as a sympathetic figure, directionless and without a home when he met Nguyen, a food truck operator, who Cramer says pressured him for sex in return for a ride, then offered up his underage neice for the next encounter. Cramer said that pushed him over the edge.
The prosecution said Cramer had many chances to turn his life around.
“One of the thing that was in the information that was presented to the court was all the times the courts had tried to intervene, giving him opportunities to take advantage of programs to rehabilitate himself,” said Prosecutor Tom Chaille, in a press conference after the sentencing. “Obviously the fact that we’re here today indicates he didn’t take advantage of that.”
The judge also heard from Nquyen’s widow and saw photos of him as he was in the community.
Cramer intends to appeal and a public defender has been appointed as his representation for that.