Dale Cramm tests positive for pot in jail


Herald Writer

An Everett man whose son was charged with two murders after a May 30 fistfight turned into a gunbattle has failed a drug test for marijuana while serving time at the Snohomish County Jail.

The test results were revealed when Dale Brian Cramm, 44, appeared briefly Thursday before Superior Court Judge Ronald Castleberry.

Cramm is serving time after pleading guilty to possessing marijuana with intent to sell and to possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms. The drugs were found after Cramm’s son, Dennis, 18, allegedly sprayed a car outside his home with bullets from a military-style rifle, killing Jesse Stoner and Jason Thompson, both 18.

The elder Cramm took the drug test because he was scheduled to be moved into home detention so he could recuperate from planned surgery on his shoulder.

His attorney, Mark Mestel of Everett, said Cramm had not used marijuana in the jail. The trace amounts found in his urine were from use that occurred before he began serving his sentence in early October, Mestel said.

Deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler said that didn’t matter, because Cramm has for months been under court order not to use drugs, except those prescribed by physicians. Jail staff, meanwhile, told the judge that Cramm had told counselors that he hadn’t used drugs since the night of the killings.

"May 30? That’s not possible," Castleberry said, adding that the tests results show Cramm simply wasn’t being truthful.

The judge told Cramm that he’d tried to accommodate his need for surgery by agreeing to allow him to serve some of his time in home detention, but that was no longer an option.

"This is just the straw that broke the camel’s back," the judge said.

At Mestel’s prompting, however, Castleberry did agree to allow Cramm to get the outpatient surgery he needs, but ordered that he’ll have to pay, out of his own pocket, for guards to take him to and from his appointment. He also said Cramm will have to recuperate in jail.

Cramm is serving eight months behind bars, the maximum punishment for his crimes under state sentencing guidelines.

His son is scheduled to go on trial in February for two counts of first-degree murder and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Cramm’s legal troubles surfaced the night a large crowd of young people converged on his south Everett home to watch a fistfight between his son and another Snohomish County youth, 16.

Thompson and Stoner, who had been bystanders during the fight, were killed after the fight erupted in gunfire, and the car they were riding in was riddled with bullets as it was being driven from the scene.

Prosecutors allege that Dennis Cramm fired the fatal shots from an SKS semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bayonet, one of a half-dozen military-style rifles that were kept at the Cramm home.

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