The late Savanna Greywind is seen in a photo on Facebook. The young woman from the Spirit Lake Nation was murdered in August 2017 and her unborn child was taken from her body.

Second defendant goes on trial for murder of Spirit Lake Nation woman

A North Dakota man accused in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Savanna Marie Greywind, a young citizen of the Spirit Lake Nation, is going on trial.

William Henry Hoehn, 33, is accused of conspiracy to commit murder. He allegedly helped his girlfriend cover up Greywind's death on August 19, 2017.

"I should've called police that night," Hoehn told The Fargo Forum in an interview from jail last month.

Brooke Lynn Crews, 39, admitted she lured Greywind to the couple's apartment in Fargo, murdered her and cut her baby from her body. Greywind was eight months pregnant at the time.

Up until the night of the brutal crime, Hoehn told The Forum that believed he and his girlfriend were going to have their own child. But he did not respond directly when asked if he verified that Crews was indeed expecting.

"Maybe I'm a fool for it, but that's what I believed," Hoehn told The Forum.

Hoehn has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and lying to police, The Associated Press reported. He has not admitted to the murder charge because he claims he didn't know his girlfriend was going to kill Greywind, the AP said.

Greywind's body was found in the Red River, eight days after she had gone missing. Her baby was recovered from the couple's apartment and is being raised by the father and relatives, The Fargo Forum reported.

Family members will be attending the trial, which starts on Tuesday. Donors helped them raise more than $1,800 to cover travel costs and other expenses.

"We appreciate all the support," Norberta Greywind, who is Savanna's mother, said in an update on the GoFundMe page.

Greywind's case has been symbolic of the large numbers of Native women and girls who have gone missing and have been murdered across the country. It led Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) to introduce S.1942, known as Savanna's Act, to force the federal government to collect data on the number of similar cases.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs took testimony on the bill on October 25, 2017. It has not yet been scheduled for a business meeting, the next step in the legislative process.

The companion version in the House is H.R.4485. It has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and to the House Committee on the Judiciary but it has not been granted a hearing.

Read More on the Story
William Hoehn's trial approaching, faces charge of conspiracy to commit murder (The Associated Press September 16, 2018)
Fundraiser to help family of Savanna Greywind attend trial of William Hoehn meets its goal (KFGO September 14, 2018)
Hoehn breaks silence before his trial in the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind (The Fargo Forum August 20, 2018)

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