|OUR IMPACT STATEMENT|
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you. Please let me say first that I respect you, your court and the justice system. I would also like to thank the Snohomish County Sheriff's department and the prosecutors office for a job well done and all their hard work and compassion toward my family this past year. My Wife and I would ask that you imprison Dennis Cramm for the maximum allowable time. The loss that our family has endured is beyond description.
My family feels that Dennis had choices the night he killed Jason and Jesse. There was testimony during the trial from other kids, that when they heard the first gun shots they made choices and those were to leave a dangerous situation. Dennis should have made that same choice, instead he shot 10 or more bullets into a car load of innocent kids trying to get out of a dangerous situation. These kids had done nothing. During the trial I saw no remorse or regret from Dennis. The only emotion I saw from Dennis was when his father was on the stand taking the fifth and showing his true colors.
The financial impact put on my family rippled out to 5 aunts, 3 uncles, 5 cousins and numerous friends. All of whom had to put their lives on hold. Some had to fly from the east coast, some cut vacation short and others drove 1,500 miles to come and comfort us. Having to choose a coffin and cemetery plot was something no parent should ever have to endure for his or her child. The emotions that went along with that were unbearable.
Jason had his whole life ahead of him. He was one week away from his high school graduation. He earned his diploma, his sister accepted for him, but Jason never had the opportunity to hold it or walk down the aisle to receive it with pride beaming from his smile. That memory was taken from us. We are so proud of him. He was in love with a wonderful girl who we all care for dearly. By the way, he saved her life that night so for all intents and purpose he died a hero. They were planning their future together. The sky was the limit, he was so happy. I think that this was the happiest time of his life. His older brother was lining up a job for him after graduation and he was so excited about that. Jason was our pride and joy. He is our shining star. Like so many teenagers, Jason could be at times high maintenance, however he had a heart of gold. He loved his family and his friends. Jason had so many friends I had a hard time keeping up with all of them.
The loss of Jason's best friend Jesse, has only added to this terrible tragedy. Jesse was one of our favorite kids and a very special young man. When Jesse came over he always greeted us with a giant hello and a big smile. He never hesitated sharing with us what he was up to and what his plans were.
The point I am trying to make is that all of our hard word as parents was paying off. Children are an investment in the sense that you as a parent invest all your time and energy into them. Your whole life surrounds your children. All decisions that are made, are made for one purpose and that purpose always involves how the decisions will effect the kids. Every decision is made with your children in mind. My wife and I had reached a plateau in our lives in the regards to raising our children. They were done with high school, graduated and as young adults their lives were there for them to grab and enjoy. We felt that we had raised a pretty nice family. That all of our hard work had paid off and now we had an opportunity to watch our kids make their own decisions and of course be there to help them with the difficult ones, still always trying to guide them in the right direction.
The potential never reached, things never known, these have all been taken from us. For a parent to live on with the loss of a child, it is the most difficult challenge, one that can not be dismissed or easily dealt with. We will never be able to watch Jason take his wedding vows. We will never get to hold his children. We will not be able to watch Jason work to the top of whatever goals he would have set for himself.
This was a devastating loss, one we will never get over. Our lives are forever altered.
Again, I ask you, your honor, to sentence Dennis to the absolute maximum time allowed by law. He shouldn't ever be able to see the outside of the prison walls again. I would not want to see another family go through what we have been through. This is the worst thing a person could experience. Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you.