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Behind the scenes preparation before William Hoehn trial in Fargo

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William Hoehn, accused in the death of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, attends a status conference in Cass County District Court on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. David Samson / The Forum2 / 2

FARGO — The only trial connected to the gruesome death of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, will start Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Just over a year after his arrest, William Hoehn will sit before a judge and jury on a conspiracy to commit murder charge.

Hoehn lived with Brooke Crews, who pleaded guilty to cutting Greywind's baby from her womb earlier this year.

The baby survived.

Greywind did not.

Leading up to the trial's start, a lot of preparation.

For the last several weeks, prosecutors and defense have been interviewing witnesses, prepping them for the start of trial.

Because the trial of William Hoehn is a high profile case, the District Clerk of Court's office in Fargo has been busy with the job of mailing out forms and questionnaires in order to find potential jurors.

"There is a team of four or five of us, that worked to get all the envelopes ready to mail them all out," said Linda Brooks, deputy clerk of court.

Three prosecutors in the Cass County State's Attorney's office have been working months on the case.

They and Mr. Hoehn's defense team will begin questioning approximately 80 potential jurors who will appear Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jury selection could go more smoothly thanks to a special questionnaire that went out earlier.

The questionnaire is agreed to by the attorneys and judge to help narrow the list down.

"The special questionnaire is more specific to the case, yes," Brooks said.

"It does give the attorneys information prior to court, so it does shorten the voir dire time," she added.

And while the trial is set to begin tomorrow, anything can happen, including a last-minute plea change.

Although rare, it would eliminate the need for a trial.

16 people are selected for the jury, which includes alternates.

Twelve of those people will ultimately deliberate the verdict.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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