Attorney Allred on Savanna case: 'It must never happen again'; Praises prosecutors but withholds comment about police
FARGO—Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind's young life ended violently when she was on the brink of motherhood. Now her abduction and murder must serve to raise awareness of Native American women who all too often are victims of violence, and to help prevent future tragedies.
That was the message from Gloria Allred, the high-profile lawyer who represents the family of the 22-year-old Fargo woman who was murdered so her baby could be stolen from her womb. Allred's comments followed the Friday, Feb. 2, sentencing of Brooke Lynn Crews, who will serve life without parole for her role in the woman's death.
"It must never happen again," Allred said. "Everybody's disappearance must be taken seriously, especially when it is very unlikely that that disappearance is due to a voluntary absence of the missing person."
Allred, who is based in Los Angeles and has represented women who allege they have been abused by figures including comedian Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, described her role as that of a voice for Greywind's grieving family.
"I'm here as a victim advocate," Allred told The Forum. No legal action is planned on behalf of the family, she added. "There's nothing pending at this time, civil."
Although Allred and members of the Greywind family thanked prosecutors, Allred said the family will have more to say after the trial of the second defendant in the case—and pointedly withheld comment about the police.
"We feel grateful to the prosecution team and also to the state's attorney," she said. "As to anyone else, we won't have any comment on that at this time. In reference to your question about the police, we just don't have any comment on that."
She added: "We are still learning all the facts. We don't have all of the facts. When we have all the facts at another time we'll comment on that. But as far as the prosecution team and the detective assigned to the case, I think it's fair to say that the family thinks they've done everything they could to bring the defendants to justice and we're very grateful for all of the efforts that this team has expended to do justice."
All too often, Native American women who are abducted are never found, and their abusers too often are not prosecuted, Allred said.
The assumption on the part of those who prey on Native American women, she said, has been, "Nobody will pay attention, nobody will care, nobody will impose punishment on the wrongdoers, on the criminals, who should be apprehended, who should be brought to justice, who should be made accountable."
Allred returned to the idea that some good can come out of the tragedy of Savanna's death, and praised her family members for their strength.
"We would never wish this suffering on anybody, on anybody's family, on anybody's sister or daughter or mother," she said. "But the only good that will come out of it is more attention and change on this issue, for other Native American women in the future."