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'I should've called police that night': Hoehn breaks silence before his trial in the murder of LaFontaine-Greywind

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William Hoehn talks to Forum reporter Kim Hyatt via video call Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at the Cass County Jail in Fargo. Erin Bormett / Forum News Service2 / 4
Brooke Crews leaves Cass County District Court on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, after her sentencing for conspiring to murder Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. David Samson / Forum News Service3 / 4
Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind disappeared Aug. 19 and was found dead in the Red River Aug. 27, 2017. Special to Forum News Service4 / 4

FARGO — William Hoehn admits he made a life-changing mistake on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.

"I should've called police that night," he said recently from inside the Cass County Jail, where he awaits trial on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and lying to police.

He claims he came home from work to his north Fargo apartment that day to find his live-in girlfriend, Brooke Crews, cleaning blood from their bathroom.

Crews presented him with a baby and said, "This is our baby, this is our family," Hoehn told police, according to court records.

He said during a series of recent jailhouse interviews that he "didn't lie to police" when giving his account of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind's killing and the kidnapping of her unborn child.

Rather than call police that day, he took bloody shoes and bloody towels from the apartment and disposed of them in a West Fargo dumpster.

After pleading guilty late last year, Crews is serving a life sentence for the murder of 22-year-old LaFontaine-Greywind, who was eight months pregnant when Crews, a neighbor in her building, cut open her womb and stole her baby.

Hoehn agreed to talk to Forum News Service through a video screen at the jail. It's the first time he's agreed to an interview since being jailed last August, shortly after the crime.

"The only reason I said anything to you is because you showed up," Hoehn said. "And I do want my story told."

'100 percent blindsided'

Hoehn claims he thought Crews was pregnant.

"That day after I came home from work," was the first time he said he realized Crews was lying.

"What the hell? Are you even pregnant?" he recalled asking her.

But asked if he ever saw an ultrasound picture or knew of Crews going to doctor appointments, he declined to comment.

Asked why he was telling co-workers and neighbors that Crews was pregnant, he said it was because he was "absolutely" convinced she was.

He said they had picked out about a half-dozen outfits and were collecting things they would need to raise their baby.

"I was 100 percent blindsided. I was under the impression we were having a baby," he said, adding he never heard her talk about taking a baby from another mother.

"Maybe I'm a fool for it, but that's what I believed," he said.

Prosecutors allege Crews and Hoehn conspired to raise the baby as their own.

LaFontaine-Greywind's baby was found alive and healthy Aug. 24, 2017, in the apartment Crews and Hoehn shared. The mother's body was found three days later in the Red River.

Hoehn said he never heard Crews talk about LaFontaine-Greywind. He said he saw LaFontaine-Greywind once or twice and couldn't pick her out of a crowd before her face was all over the news.

Asked if he ever thought Crews was capable of committing such a crime, Hoehn said "no," though he acknowledged "she had anger issues." He said he didn't think Crews was "crazy to the point of doing something like this."

Hoehn declined to say whether he helped carry out the kidnapping, killing and disposal of LaFontaine-Greywind's body. He also wouldn't say whether other people were involved in the crime.

'I'm terrified'

Since being jailed a year ago, Hoehn has had little contact with the outside world.

He said he's feeling "anxious" about taking the stand in his trial slated to begin Sept. 18.

"I'm terrified," he said. "It looks scary from here."

Hoehn has pleaded not guilty.

"The state has made no effort to reach any kind of plea agreement," he said.

Police have received some criticism for how they handled the investigation into LaFontaine-Greywind's disappearance, but Hoehn said law enforcement "did their very best."

When asked how the baby was able to stay hidden from police for four days, Hoehn said,

"Brooke is a really good liar," adding, "she sold them a good story."

Hoehn said Crews had told him she only had three children. It wasn't until a story came out that he says he learned she had at least seven children, none of which lived with her.

LaFontaine-Greywind's baby, Haisley Jo, is now with father Ashton Matheny and family.

Asked if Hoehn and Crews still have a relationship, Hoehn said, "Hell no."

With the shock of the crime still fresh a year later, Hoehn said the focus should be on the Greywind family.

"My heart goes out to the family," he said, adding he's "extremely sorry."

"I do have things I want to say to the family and community," Hoehn said. "I just can't say them now."

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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