State issues new felony charges in Kramer case

OKEECHOBEE  —The state has filed new charges against a woman accused of hitting a motorcyclist with her car and then leaving the scene of the crash.

In essence, Assistant State Attorney Don Richardson dropped the original charges against Lisa Marie Kramer and filed new ones. With those new charges, she will now be facing two first-degree felonies.

Kramer, 45, is accused of hitting Clinton Lewis Griffin, 46, then leaving the U.S. 441 S.E. crash site. Arrest reports state the accident occurred Sept. 4 around 5:20 p.m.

Lisa Marie Kramer

Lisa Marie Kramer

After hitting the motorcyclist, Kramer reportedly sped away at speeds topping 100 mph and was followed by a witness to the crash. She was eventually arrested at her residence in the Blue Cypress RV Park on U.S. 441 S.E.

A Florida Highway Patrol accident report stated Mr. Griffin had stopped his 2006 Suzuki motorcycle on U.S. 441 S.E. and was apparently waiting to make a left-hand turn into the Thornberry RV Park.

Kramer, continued the affidavit, was southbound on the two-lane highway in her silver 2003 Kia Spectra when she struck the stopped motorcycle.

“The defendant stopped her vehicle, backed up and then proceeded south on U.S. 441 S.E.,” added the FHP report.

Mr. Griffin was pronounced dead at Raulerson Hospital.

FHP Trooper Corporal Mark Zook’s arrest affidavit indicated Kramer was charged with failure to remain at a crash involving death, DUI manslaughter and driving while license suspended with a death involved.

She is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on $325,000 bond.

That bond had now gone up to $350,000 with the new charges. Kramer is now charged with DUI manslaughter – leaving the scene, leaving the scene of an accident – vehicular homicide, driving under the influence/impairment – with priors and driving while license suspended.

That last charge is a misdemeanor, while the other three are felonies.

Counts one and two are both first-degree felonies. Count three is a third-degree felony.

In an interview shortly after Kramer’s arrest, Mr. Richardson detailed the woman’s criminal history: on Sept. 4, 2009, she was convicted of DUI in Palm Beach County; on Nov. 3, 2014, she was convicted of driving while license suspended; on Aug. 14, 2015, she entered a guilty plea in a Palm Beach County court to charges of DUI with property damage, DUI leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and reckless driving causing injury to person or property; and on Sept. 1, 2015, she was convicted of grand theft-motor vehicle in Palm Beach County.

Kramer was given probation on all of her convictions, added Mr. Richardson.

After she was taken into custody, the woman was returned to the crash site by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Steven Pollock. The deputy then conducted field sobriety tests and determined Kramer was under the influence.

“There was no odor of any alcoholic beverage on or about the defendant,” stated Cpl. Zook.

That is why Kramer is charged with DUI/impairment.

Mr. Richardson said Kramer was taken to Raulerson Hospital for a blood draw. He said that sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Kramer’s arraignment has been set for Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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