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Brooke Crews, William Hoehn
FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Cass County Sheriff's Office in Fargo, N.D., shows William Hoehn, and his girlfriend Brooke Crews, the two people charged in connection with the murder of Savanna Greywind in North Dakota in August 2017. Greywind was eight months pregnant. Crews, ultimately admitted killing Greywind and cutting her baby from her womb. Hoehn, goes on trial Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, for conspiracy to commit murder. He has admitted helping cover up Greywind's murder. (Cass County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

Woman says boyfriend pressed her to 'produce a baby'

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant neighbor by cutting the baby from her womb testified Tuesday that her boyfriend had pressured her to "produce a baby" after figuring out she had lied about being pregnant.

Brooke Crews testified that she concocted a phony pregnancy to keep from losing William Hoehn, who is on trial for conspiracy in the August 2017 death of 22-year-old Savanna Greywind. Hoehn has admitted helping to cover up the crime, but says he didn't know that Crews had planned to kill Greywind and take her baby.

Crews said Hoehn appeared surprised when he entered the bathroom in their apartment and discovered she had cut Greywind's baby from her body. Crews said Hoehn then retrieved a rope and tightened it around Greywind's neck, saying: "If she wasn't dead before, she is now."

Hoehn spoke regularly with his attorney, Daniel Borgen, during Crews' testimony but showed little emotion. Crews was crying and sniffling throughout.

Crews described her relationship with Hoehn as rocky and violent, saying it was fueled by drugs and alcohol. She said they broke up at one point, and that's when she lied to him about being pregnant. She went so far as to email him a phony positive pregnancy test and sonogram photo.

In early August, Hoehn told Crews he didn't believe she was pregnant and said she needed "to produce a baby." Crews said she believed this was "an ultimatum."

"I took that to mean I better have a baby, no matter how it happened," Crews said.

Crews originally told police that Greywind had given her the child. She later told police they had argued and that she pushed Greywind down and knocked her out before cutting her open. A medical examiner testified Monday that there was no evidence of any head injuries.

Crews stuck to her story Tuesday, saying she pushed Greywind, who was knocked out when her head hit the bathroom sink. Crews said that's when she got a knife and began cutting the baby out.

Crews said the couple kept ropes around the house because Hoehn liked to tie her up during sex, including tying one around her neck. She also said Hoehn expressed fantasies about killing people and Crews said she initially told him she would be interested in that too.

The medical examiner who performed the autopsy, Dr. Victor Froloff, testified Monday that he isn't sure whether Greywind died from blood loss or strangulation .

Crews pleaded guilty to murder and is serving life in prison without parole. She said she has no agreement with prosecutors for a lesser sentence in exchange for testifying.

Greywind's death prompted North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to introduce Savanna's Act, which aims to improve tribal access to federal crime information databases and create standardized protocols for responding to cases of missing and slain Native American women . A similar bill has been introduced in the House.

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