A Milwaukee father, who beat his 2-month-old son and put the infant in a coma for six monhs before he died, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years for first-degree reckless homicide.
The tragedy of the case is not only that Michael Cramer beat his son Matthew, inflicting traumatic brain injury on the baby. The tragedy is that the dead infant’s mother, Cramer’s father and his sister all came to the sentencing to plead to the judge to just let the defendant go home, not to jail.
The baby. Matthew Cramer, was found with head trauma Feb. 17, 2009 . That’s the day the , his father, was taking care of him. The newborn went into a coma, and lingered in a comatose state for six months because Cramer wouldn’t agree to the hospital pulling life support.
Initially Cramer was charged with child abuse. But after posting bail he took off from Wisconsin to Illinois.
A jury in Milwaukee County Circuit Court convicted Cramer of first-degree reckless homicide and bail jumping in April,
Even at the sentencing, Cramer continued to proclaim his innocence. He testified at his trial that he inadvertantly hurt his son while trying to resuscitate him during a sudden infant death syndrome spell.
But experts testified that the baby’s bleeding around the brain, his subdural hemorraging and retinal bleeding weren’t consistent with Cramer’s story about his attempts to revive the infant.
Judge Kevin Marlens sentenced Cramer to 10 years and nine months in prison.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
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