A Grand Forks man involved in a "drug deal gone bad" that resulted in a shootout in the parking lot at Sam's Club in 2018 was sentenced today to 22 years in the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for an unrelated charge of murdering a child.
Mason Matthew Kamrowski, 20, also was sentenced to 36 days in prison for conspiracy to commit robbery during the drug deal on March 19, 2018.
Two months later, on May 21, 2018, 5-month-old Brynley Rachelle Rymer suffered a traumatic brain injury while in Kamrowski's care that later resulted in her death.
On Wednesday, Nov. 27, the courtroom was full of Rymer's family members and loved ones. Several family members brought photos of the child and came wearing "Justice for Brynley" T-shirts.
Several family members who gave victim impact statements to the court said they had been angered by the details of the plea agreement.
"Once those 22 years are up, he still has the chance to do something with his life," said Hailey Lott, a family friend. "How is that fair?"
Kamrowski, who was not the child's biological father but who was in a live-in relationship with her mother, was watching the baby while her mother was shopping on May 21, 2018. Sometime after 6:30 p.m., Brynley suffered a medical emergency and Kamrowski took her to Altru Hospital. The baby was then flown to Sanford Hospital in Fargo. After suffering three heart attacks and two strokes, the baby died the following day.
Tyler Morrow, who represented Kamrowski, said that this case would stay with him as both a father and as a defense attorney.
"In the hard parts, he still sees himself as Brynley's father, and he still loves her," Morrow said. "One thing that will stay with me forever in this case is how many times I've heard him say 'I wish I could go and she could come back.'"
Two months before Rymer's death, Kamrowski was involved in a "drug deal gone bad" that resulted in a shooting in the Sam's Club parking lot. Kamrowski and two co-defendants told a 17-year-old boy they would meet him to sell him two ounces of marijuana for $400, but actually intended to rob him.
On the day of the attempted robbery, the teen drove to Sam's Club with three friends. They were met by Kamrowski, who was accompanied by Diamond O'Donnell and Zach Enockson. During the exchange, when Kamrowski unsuccessfully attempted to grab the teen's cash, Enockson sprayed the teen with pepper spray.
Enockson then pursued the teen back to his vehicle, when one of the teen's friends, Devon Hricak, fired a rifle from inside the vehicle. Hricak's lawyer later said he had been acting in self-defense and believed the men had a gun. No one was injured in the exchange.
A charge of armed robbery was dropped as part of Kamrowski's plea agreement. Assistant Grand Forks County State's Attorney Andrew Eyer said the 36-day sentence for the second charge of conspiracy to commit robbery was similar to sentences given to the co-defendants in the case.
The 36 days will be served concurrently with his 22-year sentence.