William Cramer

Somerset County officials are seeking high security measures for the upcoming trial of William Cramer, shown in a 2014 file photo.

SOMERSET -  A Somerset County judge has denied the motion of a state prison inmate to have his confession to attacking a corrections officer with a razor in 2017 thrown out at his upcoming trial for attempted homicide.

William Amos Cramer, 27, who is currently serving a life sentence for murder at SCI-Forest, filed a motion to suppress an “involuntary confession” for the Dec. 3, 2017, razor blade attack on an SCI-Somerset corrections officer.

Cramer claimed that officers interrogated him without reading him his Miranda rights

Somerset County President Judge D. Gregory Geary denied the motion in a court order dated Jan. 3, finding that Cramer’s “voluntary” statements “were not made in response to a custodial interrogation.”

Cramer, a Fayette County native, was receiving medical treatment at Somerset Hospital when he pulled out a razor blade and lunged at a guard, according to a Jan. 17, 2018, press release issued by Chief Randy Cox, of the Somerset Borough Police Department.

“Cramer’s stated intention was to slit the throat of the officer,” Cox wrote in the press release. “According to Cramer, he had accessed the razor blade inside SCI-Somerset, swallowed it and then passed it in a bathroom at the hospital. He was able to conceal it on his person until his attack on the officer.”

Cox added: “Apparently Cramer, a self-avowed white supremacist, viewed the victim officer as being friendly with African-American inmates at SCI-Somerset and found this offensive.”

Cramer faces charges including criminal attempted homicide, assault by a life prisoner, aggravated assault and assault by a prisoner.

Somerset County prosecutors are asking the judge for added security for Cramer at his trial.

District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser argued at a hearing in November, that because of his violent past, Cramer should be secured to a wheeled restraint chair, wear a mesh spit mask over his face and an electrified security belt fastened around his waist.

Geary has not ruled on whether Cramer will be subjected to the added restraints.

No trial date has been scheduled.

Cramer has been serving a life sentence since November 2013 for strangling William Sherry, 28, of Johnstown, his cellmate at Cambria County Prison.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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