Appeals Court Orders New Trial For Evan Savoie

The Washington state Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for Evan Savoie, who was convicted of killing a 12-year-old playmate in 2003.

Craig Sorger was stabbed more than 30 times. Evan Savoie and Jake Eakin had been playing in the park with Craig the night he died; they said he fell out of a tree and they got scared and that someone else must have come along later and stabbed Craig.

Savoie was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree for Sorger’s killing. Jake Eakin testified against Savoie as part of a plea deal.

Because the defense could have implicated the Sorgers in the murder, they were given their own attorney, and when the family’s private records were discussed, the judge closed the courtroom to the public.

The appeals court said that violated Savoie’s right to a public trial and said he should be re-tried. Holly Parent, Savoie’s mother, said she always knew this day would come.

“My son is what’s kept me confident. He kept saying this day would come and it did. All I can say is I’m thankful those judges saw what everybody else seen. And, I hope this time he gets a fair trial,” Parent said.

Savoie turns 21 in a few weeks and is currently serving his 26-year sentence at the Airway Heights Corrections Center. His earliest scheduled release before the appeals court’s decision was in 2028.

It’s not clear yet when a new trial will begin; the Grant County Prosecutor’s Office did not return calls for comment on this story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report