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Fargo man charged in connection with Savanna Greywind's murder argues for a reduced sentence

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

The attorney for a man charged in connection with the murder or Savanna Greywind of Fargo says her client should have his life sentence reduced – because he was not convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

Greywind was pregnant at the time of the murder.  Her baby was taken from her womb, and her body was dumped in the Red River. Brooke Crews and her boyfriend, William Hoehn, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Crews was convicted, but Hoehn was not. Hoehn was found guilty of conspiracy to kidnap, and lying to police. Both Hoehn and Crews were given life sentences.

Crews received life without parole, and Hoehn received life with the possibility of parole.

Hoehn’s attorney, Kiara Kraus-Parr, argued before the state Supreme Court that Hoehn’s conviction did not warrant a life sentence. She told the Court Hoehn was wrongfully dubbed a “special dangerous offender” – and that his sentence should be reduced to 20 years, standard for a class “A” felony charge. Kraus-Parr told the Court the state talks about the brutal nature of the crime -- but in Hoehn's case, it's irrelevant to the charge.

"He was acquitted of the conspiracy to commit murder charge," Kraus-Parr told the Court. "How the child was removed from the mother and had her start in life, brutal, horrific -- not relevant to our case."

But Assistant Cass County State’s Attorney Leah Viste argued that Hoehn’s sentence was based in part on an earlier child endangerment conviction in Grand Forks – and that the child, after taken from womb, was not properly cared for.

"They had no idea if this child had suffered any hypoxia, blood loss, trauma to the brain," Viste told the Court. "They don't know if, during the course of this, if Savanna Greywind's death had affected the child's brain. They didn't care. They did no steps to insure this child was okay."

The high court has taken the case under advisement.

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