FILE – This combination of file photos provided by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office in Fargo, N. D., shows William Hoehn and his girlfriend Brooke Crews, the two people charged in connection with the murder of Savanna Greywind in North Dakota in August 2017. Greywind was eight months pregnant. The crew, eventually admitted killing Greywind and cutting her baby from her belly. Hoehn, goes on trial Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, for conspiracy to commit murder. He has admitted that the help cover Greywind the murder. (Cass County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)
FARGO, N. D. – A second suspect in the murder of a North Dakota woman whose baby was cut from her womb will stand trial this week, more than a year after her disappearance deeply under the impression of the state and shining a light on what the proponents call the often overlooked violence against Native American women.
Samantha Greywind was 22 years old and eight months pregnant when she disappeared in August 2017. Her disappearance sparked vigils and searches for her body was found eight days later, wrapped in plastic and dumped in the Red River.
A neighbor in her apartment, Brooke Crews, admitted that they killed Greywind and cut her baby out of her belly. Crew ” boyfriend, William Hoehn, goes on trial Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. Hoehn has admitted that he helped cover up Greywind the murder, but he said that he did not know that the Crew had planned to kill her.
Here is a look at the case and the trial:
THE MODELLING OF A DRESS, THAN AN ATTACK
Crews and Hoehn lived in an apartment two floors above Greywind’s, and the Crew was friends with the young woman. Shortly before her disappearance, Greywind texted her mother that she went up the stairs to the model of a dress that the Crew was to sew.
According to the prosecutor, the Crew told the researchers that they Greywind got into an argument and she pushed Greywind down and knocked her out for cutting her open. Greywind bled to death.
When Crews and Hoehn were arrested and the newborn was found with them, the Crews claimed that Greywind, who is still missing at the time, had her child.
When Crews pled guilty in February, she apologized to Greywind family to say that there is “no excuse” for what she had done.
Hoehn told the police that he came home to find Crews cleaning up blood in their bathroom. Hoehn said Crews presented him with a baby girl and said: “This is our baby. This is our family.” Hoehn said he took garbage bags with bloody shoes, and are bloody towels and removed them away from the apartment complex.
Hoehn earlier this month pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and lying to the police, a misdemeanor. The remaining conspiracy charges carries a penalty of up to life in prison.
WILL CREWS WITNESSES?
Although the Crew gave a few details of the crime to condemn her, they have not given a public accounting of Hoehn role. It is not clear whether they will testify at his trial, but she is on a list of more than 50 possible forms of witnesses.
Cass County prosecutor Ryan Younggren refused to say whether he will call Crews to witness.
Bruce Fast, a prominent Fargo lawyer who is not involved in the case, said Crews may provide an incentive to testify if it gives her a chance of parole.
Steve Mottinger, who represented Crews in its procedures, declined to comment.
Greywind was a member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe and her family has ties with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, two North Dakota groups moved to the Fargo area to search for Greywind.
Her death prompted North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to introduce Savanna’s Act, which aims to improve tribal access to federal crime information databases and the creation of standardized protocols for responding to cases of missing and murdered indigenous women . A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. House.
Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents the Greywind family, said after Crews’ the conviction that the only good to come of such a heinous crime is the possibility that other indigenous women can take advantage of the legislation.
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