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Date of Issue: July 14, 2010

Cramer home invasion sees plea change


Christopher Drescher, 30, entered a guilty plea in Manatee County Circuit Court July 6 to charges of home invasion robbery and false imprisonment in an April 17, 2008, incident involving former Anna Maria City Commissioner Linda Cramer.

Drescher’s plea came a few days after the long-awaited trial began June 28.

Drescher and co-defendant Michael Gambuzza were arrested a few days after the incident took place, and both originally entered not guilty pleas. Gambuzza maintained his not guilty plea after Drescher changed his mind.

Following Drescher’s plea, Gambuzza’s trial was moved to Aug. 30.

Drescher and Gambuzza remained in custody since their May 2008 arrest.

Drescher received a 15-year sentence for the home invasion and robbery charge and a five-year concurrent sentence for false imprisonment. He was given credit for the more than two years he has been imprisoned since his arrest.

Gambuzza and Drescher were arrested May 3, 2008, and charged with home invasion and robbery at the home of Cramer’s boyfriend, Joe Pandolf, on Crescent Drive in Anna Maria. Pandolf was not at home when the suspects entered the house with Cramer inside.

Cramer was beaten and left tied up on the floor. She suffered multiple facial bruises and some minor injuries in the incident.

She declined to make a statement on Drescher’s plea and sentence, opting to withhold any comment until Gambuzza’s trial is over.