FARGO, N.D. -- A North Dakota judge was deciding Friday whether a woman who admitted killing a pregnant neighbor so she and her boyfriend could keep the baby should be sentenced to anything less than life in prison without parole.
Brooke Crews, 38, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder and lying to law officers in the August death of Savanna Greywind, 22, of Fargo. Crews does not have a plea deal with prosecutors, but hoped that admitting responsibility at a December hearing would help her at Friday's sentencing.
She appeared in court in orange prison clothing, cuffed at the wrists. Prosecutors asked for a sentence of life in prison with no parole.
Greywind was eight months pregnant when she disappeared in August, sparking extensive searches. Kayakers found her body wrapped in plastic in a river. The baby was found alive in the apartment Crews shared with her 32-year-old boyfriend, William Hoehn.
Hoehn has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in March.
Authorities haven't said how Greywind was killed, but police Chief Dave Todd called her death a "cruel and vicious act of depravity." Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick said further details aren't likely to be released until after Hoehn's case is finished.
Crews initially claimed that Greywind gave up her newborn daughter, but she later admitted taking advantage of the woman to get the child, according to court documents.
Hoehn told police he came home on Aug. 19 to find Crews cleaning up blood in their bathroom. Hoehn said Crews presented him with an infant girl and said: "This is our baby. This is our family." Hoehn told police he took garbage bags containing bloody shoes and his bloody towels and disposed them away from the apartment complex.
The baby is now in the custody of her father, Ashton Matheny, who was Greywind's boyfriend.