The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 16, 2021 1:00 am

Guilty plea given in April slaying

Man admits assisting criminal who committed murder

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

A 20-year-old man charged in the slaying and dismemberment of a local man in late April pleaded guilty Thursday to three felony charges. 

Jacob Carreon-Hamilton, 20, who was homeless at the time, pleaded guilty to assisting a criminal who committed murder, abuse of a corpse and resisting law enforcement using a vehicle.

He will be sentenced Dec. 20 in front of Superior Court Judge David Zent, according to the Allen County prosecutor's office. 

Mathew J. Cramer II, 21, is charged with murder in the April 25 death of Shane Van Nguyen, 55, after Nguyen, who operated a food truck in northwest Fort Wayne, drove to Elkhart to pick up Cramer the Friday before.

Cramer, who grew up in the Elkhart area, told Fort Wayne police he planned to kill Nguyen as they drove back to Fort Wayne where Cramer had a storage unit, court documents. 

At the storage unit, Cramer said he told Nguyen to turn his back to him. When he did so, Cramer put him in a choke hold. Nguyen hit his head hard on the pavement rendering him unconscious, court documents said. 

Cramer dragged Nguyen into the storage unit where he finished killing Nguyen, he said. He went to Goshen using Nguyen's van and picked up Carreon-Hamilton and another man who was not charged in the killing. 

Cramer bought supplies, such as a hacksaw, with money he stole from Nguyen and drove back to the storage unit where Carreon-Hamilton held Nguyen's body while Cramer used a knife to dismember him, court documents said. 

After they stuffed Nguyen's body into black plastic bags and placed the bags in the van, they were seen early the morning of April 25 by Sgt. Cary Young, who was on patrol. 

Carreon-Hamilton was driving and jumped out of the van after he drove through the parking lot at the BP gas station at Lake Avenue and North Anthony Boulevard.

The van crashed through a back fence in the 1500 block of Forest Park Boulevard. Cramer took over the wheel as the van slowly rolled, court records said. 

Cramer ran, leaving Fort Wayne officers to make the grisly discovery. 

Nguyen's body was dismembered by Cramer with a knife. The next morning, Carreon-Hamilton and Cramer saw Young driving behind them when they were parked behind an abandoned building, court records said.

In between April 23 when Nguyen went missing and April 25, a Silver Alert was sent out by Fort Wayne and Purdue Fort Wayne police, noting that the older man had high blood pressure and diabetes and didn't have his medication with him.

Cramer was charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and mutilating a corpse and resisting law enforcement. Cramer's five-day trial was set to start Dec. 13.

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