The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed an eight-year prison sentence issued a Fontanet man in connection with the February 2017 starvation death of a disabled 9-year-old child.
"While we acknowledge — as the trial court did — the mitigating factors that (Hubert) Kraemer pled guilty and has his own health problems, we agree with the trial court that those factors are far outweighed by the horrendous fact that Kraemer starved his disabled child to death," the court wrote in a decision filed today.
Kraemer, 59, was one of four defendants arrested in connection with the starvation death of 9-year-old Cameron Hoopingarner. All four adults lived in the same house on Lewsader Avenue, where Robin Kraemer -- Hubert Kraemer's wife -- had cared for the boy since he was 3 days old.
Hoopingarner died Feb. 21, 2017. An autopsy determined he died of severe malnutrition, weighing about 15 pounds. Because of his many medical conditions, his target weight was only 22 to 26 pounds.
Hubert Kraemer entered into a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to Level 3 felony charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, as well as four counts of the Level 6 felony charge of neglect of a dependent.
In exchange for his plea, the state agreed the sentences would run concurrently, and other charges against Hubert Kraemer were dismissed.
Judge Michael Lewis in December 2018 sentenced Kraemer to concurrent sentences of one year for each of the Level 6 felony convictions, and to twelve years, with four years suspended, for the Level 3 felony conviction. Kraemer's total sentence, then, was 12 years with four years suspended,
Kraemer appealed only the sentence, arguing it was inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.
The appellate court was not convinced. It noted:
- The eight-year executed sentence is one year below the advisory sentence for the Level 3 felony conviction.
- The "nature of his offenses were severe and prolonged and resulted in greater injury than necessary to prove the commission of neglect of a dependent as a Level 3 felony."
- "Kraemer starved his nine-year-old child to death, and the child also had methamphetamine in his system."
- Kraemer’s crimes were not accompanied by any show of restraint on his part; his victim was very disabled and the crimes resulted in the death of a child over whom Kraemer had control.
Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote the decision for the court; judges Patricia A. Riley and Rudolph R. Pyle III concurred. The appeals case number is 19A-CR-122. The trial court case number is 84D06-1702-F1-564.
Robin Kraemer, 55, was convicted in September 2017 of a total nine criminal counts, including neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony. She was sentenced the following month to 36.5 years in prison. On appeal, three counts -- failure to report, visiting a common nuisance and negelect of a dependent -- were vacated. She remains in the Indiana Department of Correction with an earliest possible release date of July 25, 2041.
Chad Kraemer, 35, pleaded guilty to three counts of child neglect. He was sentenced in February 2018 to five years in prison, two years in community corrections/home detention and two years of formal probation. The appellate court has affirmed his sentence. He remains in state custoday with an earliest possible release date of May 23, 2021.
Sarah Travioli, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts of neglect one count of failure to make a report. She was sentenced in March 2018 to four years in prison with credit for 474 days served, two years on home detention and two years of probation. The Indiana DOC currently lists her as in a community transition program. Her earliest possible release date is July 22 of this year.
Mark Fitton can be reached at email@example.com or 812-231-4333.