Camron P. Gardner
August 24, 2002  - May 5, 2006

Three year old Camron Gardner vomited in his bed during a nap, for that, he lost his life and his brother was beaten. Shane Marquardt admitted that he had become angry when he found that one of his foster children had vomited so he punched Camron and his two year old brother, Ethan, in the stomach over and over. Camron died a few hours later and his brother Ethan was able to recover from his injuries.

Shane was charged with first degree murder and reckless endangerment, though the charge of reckless endangerment that came from what he did to Ethan, was eventually dismissed. During a seven hour trial, Shane cried most of the time while Ashley Mundt, the biological mother of the boys and other family members had all worn t shirts with Camron's face on them and  the words: "If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to Heaven and bring you back home again".

In court, 16 people took the stand to comment about the sentence that Shane would be given. In August of 2007 Judge Andrew Bissonnette sentenced Shane, who was 34 years old at the time to 22 years in prison which would be followed by 18 years of extended supervision. District Attorney Steven Bauer had asked for 40 years and Defense Lawyer Mary Lou Robinson asked that he serve a lengthy probation sentence rather than prison time. In court, Shane said:

"It's very hard for me to live day to day knowing what I've done. I took a little boy
away that everyone loved so much and I hate myself for it. I know you all miss
him and I'm so sorry, so very sorry"

Judge Bissonnette said that he could tell that Shane had not received penance in what he did:

"When I send you to prison, I don't intend to write you off. Move past this self hate, self
loathing. I want you to use that as motivation to move forward in  your life"

A statement made by Camron's biological mother read by Camron's Aunt said:

"Ethan leaves blankets outside so Camron won't get cold. He released balloons into
the sky so he will have something to play with. I want him to look down and smile
when your sentence is read. The only way he can is if you get the maximum sentence"

The fact that Shane had a spotless criminal record was brought up and that he was a good friend as well as a family man. Brad Marquardt, his father, said that he had traveled from Florida to see his son for only the second time in 15 years. Judge Bissonnette brought up that he had received almost 50 letters in support of Shane, pointing out that he had never been a violent man in the past:

"Shane is a fundamentally good person, everyone has a breaking point and
he broke"
Molly Hall Buehner - Shane's Aunt

Steven Bauer was not so soft about what had happened pointing out that Shane spoke of hitting the boys with his fist balled up and hitting them as hard as he would hit a punching bag in the basement:

"Mr. Marquardt is six feet three inches and weighed 199 pounds. Camron
was 33 pounds at the time of his death and 40 inches tall"

Doctors and investigators had at first thought that the two boys had been exposed to some kind of toxin and before they could diagnose the internal bleeding that Camron was suffering from, he died at 2:00 p.m. that day:

"This isn't a person who loses it, comes to his senses and tries to protect
the victim. he's trying to cover his own butt. I don't buy that he has a good
character. If that's what good character is, we've lost what it means"
Steven Bauer

Steven had asked for 40 years with a long period of supervision while Mary Lou Robinson said that her client was not a danger to anyone and said he was a man who was suffering from depression and dealing with economic and employment troubles:

There isn't any reason this man couldn't be on probation for the rest of
his life. There is no need to protect the public. The only thing that is served
is the anger of the public. We do live in a very angry society"

Steven said that the thought of only probation was a ridiculous notion.

Thank you Cat , you have never let the children down.

This page was created on January 13, 2015

Death occurred in the state of Wisconsin

If you do not like what you see printed on this page, please see my DISCLAIMER statement. THANK YOU!

For information about how to report child abuse, please click the link below and you will be taken to a page that has an alphabetical, state by state listing of how to report child abuse for which state you are looking for and for some other countries.

Visit my child abuse quilt to see other places about preventing child abuse.

This page will open up in a new window so you won't lose your place while
visiting the Angels on my site.

Call this number to report child abuse ANY WHERE in the United States!
1-800-4-A-Child  1-800-422-4453