“I still don’t know if that’s justice”: William Hoehn Resentenced to 20 Years in Prison
The North Dakota Supreme Court appealed a district judge's previous ruling because they said it didn't match up with Hoehn's previous convictions
FARGO, N.D. — William Hoehn was back at the Cass County Courthouse for resentencing in connection with Savanna Greywind’s kidnapping and murder.
This comes after the North Dakota Supreme Court overturned his life sentence.
Hoehn may not be spending life in prison but he will spend the next 20 years behind bars, after Judge Tom Olson went with the maximum sentence.
He will also serve 320 days concurrently.
Before hearing his fate, Hoehn expressed how angry he was about the previous life sentence.
“A very severe sentence is definitely appropriate for what happened here. I was really angry about what had happened last time but then I stopped and I tried to look at it from an objective point of view, and I’d just like to say that I’m not mad about it. I totally understand why you did what you did,” he said.
Hoehn says he’s started to turning life around in prison, even helping tutor other prisoners so they can get their GED’s.
At his resentencing, he wanted to apologize again to everyone affected by his actions.
“I just want to apologize again to the Greywind family and the community. I’m sorry doesn’t cut it but I am,” Hoehn said.
A jury found Hoehn not guilty for conspiring to commit murder in the death of 22–year–old Savanna Greywind in September 2018.
Judge Olson sentenced Hoehn to life in prison a month later.
“As much as I believe my decision was correct, the Supreme Court disagreed,” Olson said.
Hoehn told Judge Olson he felt eight to 12 years was appropriate.
But Olson says it didn’t take long for him to make a decision.
“I knew the only fair sentence and just sentence would be the maximum allowed by law,” Olson said.
Still, Cass County Assistant State’s Attorney Leah Viste says Hoehn’s apology falls flat and just hopes the Greywind’s can finally start getting on with their lives.
“It’s not what they would’ve wanted but hopefully they can move forward in their lives now and not have to relive this all the time,” Viste said.
Viste says she spoke to the Greywind’s on the phone in August when the state Supreme Court overruled Hoehn’s original sentence.
“I believe that they’re probably just tired. It was news they didn’t want to hear,” Viste said.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who’s been representing the Greywind’s, told Viste the family wouldn’t be in court for Hoehn’s resentencing.
While she says the State’s Attorney’s Office believes Hoehn should be behind bars for life, it respects the court’s decision.
However, when it comes to justice, Viste says she’s not sure whether a case like this one really ever does get any.
Especially when you look at who was taken from her family, daughter and community.
“Someone has answered for a crime, someone’s been held accountable for the crime. As I indicated and believe that life sentences were appropriate, I still don’t know if that’s justice. We still have a young woman who’s no longer with us,” Viste said.
Savanna’s daughter Haisley Jo will be in high school around the time Hoehn is eligible for parole.