Half a year after she was arrested for the murder of a 22-year-old North Dakota woman who was eight months pregnant, and for cutting that woman’s unborn child out of her womb as she died, Brooke Crews has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Crews, 38, who pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and lying to law officers, learned her fate Friday in court.
State District Judge Frank Racek sentenced Crews to life without parole for the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind.
Prosecutors say Crews admitted to cutting out the baby while Greywind went in and out of consciousness.
The baby was found alive in the apartment the 38-year-old Crews shared with her 32-year-old boyfriend, William Hoehn.
Hoehn’s trial is scheduled for March.
LaFontaine-Greywind went missing in August 2017, sparking an eight-day search. The search came to a ghastly end, as kayakers discovered her body wrapped in plastic and hung on a log in the Red River.
According to the Star Tribune, LaFontaine-Greywind’s parents told authorities at the time that the last people she saw before disappearing on Aug. 19 were Crews and Hoehn. People reported that the pair lived in the same apartment building Greywind lived in with her parents and her 16-year-old brother.
Crews had invited LaFontaine-Greywind downstairs to her apartment to help with a sewing project. An argument ensued, LaFontaine-Greywind was knocked unconscious and then Crews used a “utility knife or a blade” to cut the child out her mother’s womb, the New York Daily News reported.
Hoehn would tell authorities he came home to a grisly scene of his girlfriend cleaning up blood in their bathroom and heard her say, “This is our baby. This is our family.”
The victim’s mother, Noberta Greywind, called Crews “beyond evil.” She also said that Crews had “befriended” the family and that she still has nightmares about her daughter’s murder.
“I miss her laugh. I miss her so much. My heart is literally broken. I find myself looking through pictures and videos. Brooke Crews befriended us. She was monitoring our daily routine,” she said. “I still have nightmares. I cannot accept that someone had done this to my daughter. For someone to do this to another human is beyond evil.”
WDAY reported that Greywind was due to give birth on Sept. 20 and had already decided with her long-time boyfriend, Ashton Matheny, to name the baby Haisley Jo.
The baby is now living with her father.
Matheny created a GoFundMe campaign in December and wrote the following there:
In August of 2017, Savanna Greywind was eight months pregnant when she was murdered and her unborn baby, Haisley Jo, was taken from her. Haisley Jo was later found and reunited with her father, Ashton Matheny. Haisley Jo is now a thriving, beautiful four month old that is the love of her father’s life. As a single father dedicated to successfully raising their daughter, Ashton is now solely responsible for her care. Ashton and Haisley Jo are forever grateful and appreciative of the love and support they receive from family, friends, and caring strangers that have rallied around them. Thank you for yours.
More than $17,000 has been donated in a month’s time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.