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FARGO A courtroom full of Savanna LaFontaine Greywind’s loved ones heard a grisly tale of how the 22 year old Fargo woman died after her infant daughter was cut from her womb by Brooke Lynn Crews, a neighbor who lured the pregnant woman to her death by asking for help. 2, to life in prison without the chance of parole.
On an afternoon last August, 36 year old Crews asked her downstairs neighbor, who was eight months pregnant, for help with a sewing project.
LaFontaine Greywind agreed to help, but when she got to Crews’ apartment Crews provoked an argument by accusing LaFontaine Greywind of mistreating cats.
The two struggled and Crews said she shoved LaFontaine Greywind to the floor, where she hit her head and fell unconscious.
Then, using a utility knife or some sort of blade, Crews performed a C section on LaFontaine Greywind, delivering a baby girl and placing the child in a bathtub.
“She was taking her first breath as her mother was taking her last,” Johnson Martinez said, referring to LaFontaine Greywind’s daughter, Haisley Jo, who survived the forced delivery.
LaFontaine Greywind was alive during the crude C section, and she would briefly awaken before quickly falling back into unconsciousness.
The mother remained alive after the delivery, but because she was not given medical care, she later died from lack of blood, according to the prosecution.
Five month old Haisley Jo was at Friday’s sentencing and spent much of the hearing sitting on the lap of her father, Ashton Matheny. Matheny sat weeping with his head bowed as he listened to the proceedings. He later said it was the first time he learned how Savanna died.
Crews spent most of the hearing sitting silently facing the judge. She heard LaFontaine Greywind’s mother and sister tell the court how much their family has suffered.
Crews spoke briefly before she was sentenced, telling Racek: “I’m just really, really, really sorry. “I wish I could take their pain,” she said. “I wish I hadn’t done this. There is no excuse. There is no rationalization. There is nothing. I know it doesn’t help, but I am sorry.”
Crews had earlier pleaded guilty to three charges, including conspiracy to commit murder. On that charge, prosecutors asked for and received the maximum punishment of life without the possibility of parole. On the second charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, Racek sentenced Crews to the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Crews was also sentenced to 163 days in jail for a third charge of providing false information to law enforcement.
Crews’ attorney, Steven Mottinger, had asked for life in prison with the possibility of parole, stating during the hearing and afterward that in his 38 years as a defense attorney he has come to believe all people are capable of change.