New trial considered in Ephrata teen murder

first_imgEPHRATA — The re-trial of a man convicted as a teenager of killing a playmate in 2003 will stay in Grant County, a judge ruled Friday, tabling for now a request to move one of the most high-profile cases in the region in years.However, visiting Judge John Hotchkiss of Douglas County left open the possibility of moving the trial, tentatively scheduled for this fall, at a later date if warranted. Evan Savoie was sentenced as an adult to 26 years in prison for the death of 13-year-old Craig Sorger, who had been beaten and stabbed repeatedly at a recreational vehicle park. The state Court of Appeals threw out Savoie’s murder conviction in 2011 over a judge’s error. Grant County is a medium-sized county at most, with about 36,000 registered voters and potential jurors, argued defense attorney Mike Felice. The inflammatory publicity of the case — including the nature of the crime and the ages of Savoie and the victim — ensure that prospective jurors will have heard about the case and formed opinions, he said.“There seems to be an amount of animosity generated toward Mr. Savoie,” Felice said.Grant County Deputy Prosecutor Ed Owens called the request premature, saying a change of venue request should be filed once it’s known “what a juror has seen or heard.”last_img

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