A Washington state man admits he killed his 3-year-old son near Anaconda last July. Jeremy Cramer pleaded guilty to one charge of deliberate homicide in Beaverhead County district court Tuesday morning.
"Whether it's, you know, 8 years or it's 80 years, it's the same time for me, my son's not here," Cramer said in court.
Before accepting the guilty plea, Judge Loren Tucker let Cramer know this will limit his options moving forward.
"You will not have any opportunity to change your mind if you later decide you don't like how this all develops or turns out," said Tucker.
But he did acknowledge the difficulty of a hearing like this. "It's human nature that when something difficult is in front of us, like you said, we'd like to get it over with. At the same time it's very important we take this deliberately enough so that we don't hurry something improperly," said Tucker.
Police arrested Cramer on the night of Monday, July 8. According to court documents a clerk at an Anaconda convenience store saw a man described as Cramer trying to clean blood off his clothes.
According to prosecutors, Cramer's wife reported her husband and her son, 3-year-old Broderick, missing earlier that day. She told authorities that Jeremy had left their home in Lacey, Washington, that morning but had not told her where they were going.
After arresting Cramer, searchers found his car about 5 miles southeast of town, but no sign of his son.
In court documents, investigators say Cramer acted erratically, and that he may have taken a large amount of Adderall. In a phone call with his father, prosecutors say Cramer confessed to hallucinating and killing Broderick.
Cramer reportedly told authorities he and his son had run out of gas and were walking. In court records Cramer is quoted saying "Brody was like some other kid when he was on my neck and was doing something to me and I don't know what, it wasn't Brody."
At first light on Tuesday, July 9 police resumed their search. Searchers found Broderick's body just off Mill Creek Road. An autopsy found Broderick died of blunt and sharp-force trauma.
Prosecutors are recommending Cramer be sentenced to life in prison, with a chance for parole after 30 years. The court will do a presentencing investigation. The judge did not set a date for sentencing but said it could happen within six to eight weeks.