FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A Fort Wayne man was sentenced to life in prison Monday for killing and dismembering a man last year.
Allen Superior Court Judge David Zent sentenced Mathew J. Cramer II, 22, after a jury convicted him of murder, abuse of a corpse and resisting law enforcement in the slaying of Shane Van Nguyen, 55, on April 23, 2021. The jury had recommended the life sentence.
Cramer apologized to Nguyen’s family.
“I’m really sorry for what happened,” Cramer said.
Family friends Rob Evans and Don Cochran presented a victim impact statement on behalf of Nguyen’s widow, Don Nguyen.
“His murder took away my husband,” Don Nguyen’s statement said. “His murder took away a father of two sons.”
During his trial, the defense claimed Cramer was homeless and living in a storage unit. Nguyen saw Cramer walking along a street, asked Cramer if he needed a ride, drove Cramer to the storage unit and the two had sex, according to the defense account, which maintained Cramer was the victim of a sexual predator and acted in a panic.
Investigators said Cramer slammed Nguyen’s head to the ground, killing him. They say Cramer and an accomplice, 21-year-old Jacob Carreon-Hamilton, dismembered Nguyen’s body at a storage unit before placing them in the victim’s van.
Carreon-Hamilton pleaded guilty to assisting a criminal, abuse of a corpse, and resisting law enforcement in July. He was sentenced to five years in prison.