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 North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant neighbor, cutting the baby out of her stomach testified Tuesday that her boyfriend had pressured her to “produce a baby” after he had lied about being pregnant.
Brooke Crew told the court that they had concocted a fake pregnancy to keep track of the losses of William Hoehn, who is on trial for a conspiracy in the August 2017, the death of the 22-year-old Savanna Greywind. Hoehn has admitted helping to cover-up the crime, but says that he did not know that the Crew had planned to kill Greywind and her baby. Crews testified that she never “explicitly” told Hoehn that was her plan.
Crew said Hoehn appeared surprised when he went to the bathroom in the apartment and discovered they had cut Greywind the baby from her body. Crew said Hoehn then picked up by a rope and pulled it around Greywind’s neck, saying: “If she wasn’t dead before she is.”
Greywind daughter survived and was raised by the family.
Hoehn spoke regularly with his lawyer, Daniel Borgen, during the Crew, ” testimony, but showed little emotion. Crews was crying and sniffling throughout.
“You never told us that you had planned to do this, is that right?” Ensure asked.
“Do not kill Savannah for her baby, no,” Crews answered.
“In fact, there was never a conversation about the killing of Savanna and take her baby,” Borgen said.
“Not explicitly,” she said.
It was not immediately clear what the Crews meant by “explicitly.”
Crews describes her relationship with Hoehn as rocky and violent, saying: it was fueled by drugs and alcohol. She said that they broke up at one point, and that is when she lied to him about being pregnant. They even went so far as to an e-mail from him a false positive pregnancy test and ultrasound photo.
In the beginning of August, Hoehn told Crews he did not believe that she was pregnant and said that she had to “to produce a baby.” Crew said that she believed that this was ” an ultimatum.”
“I took that I better have a baby, regardless of how it happened,” Crews said.
Crews originally told the police that Greywind had her child. She later told the police that they carried out and that they pushed Greywind down and knocked her out for cutting her open. A medical examiner testified Monday that there was no evidence of any injury to the head.
Crew stuck to its story Tuesday, saying they pushed Greywind, who was knocked out when her head hit the sink. Crew said that when she got a knife and started cutting the baby.
Crew said the couple of ropes around the house, because Hoehn like to tie her up during sex, including to her neck. They also said Hoehn expressed fantasies about killing people and the Crew said that they initially told him that they would be interested in that also.
The medical examiner that the autopsy, Dr. Victor Froloff, testified Monday that he is not sure if Greywind died due to blood loss or strangulation .
Greywind’s disappearance led to a search for her body was a few days later, wrapped in plastic and dumped in the Red River. Crews testified Tuesday that the police missed Greywind’s body and her baby during three searches of the couple’s apartment.
Crews testified that Greywind’s body was in the bathroom cabinet and the baby was covered, in addition to Hoehn on a bed in one of the searches. She said Hoehn eventually moved Greywind body of a hollowed out dresser, and the two of them carried it from the apartment.
Fargo police chief David Todd not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the Crews’ testimony.
Crews pled guilty to murder and life in prison without parole. They said that they have no agreement with the prosecutors for a less sentence in exchange for testifying.
Greywind’s 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 slain indigenous women . A similar bill has been introduced in the House.
The Latest updates from the trial: https://bit.ly/2Q2dR7t