EPHRATA – Evan D. Savoie is going back to prison.
The 23-year-old man pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree in Grant County Superior Court Monday morning.
Savoie was facing a second trial for murder in the first degree for killing 13-year-old Craig Sorger in 2003.
The Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III, overturned Savoie's first conviction in October 2011, ruling a closed hearing violated Savoie's rights.
Savoie faces between 12 years and three months and 21 years and two months in prison when he is sentenced.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ed Owens told visiting Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss prosecutors plan to ask for 20 years and four months in prison when Savoie is sentenced, according to court records. The victim's family doesn't agree with the resolution, but the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorney's and Ephrata's police chief agreed with it.
Savoie was initially sentenced to 26 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree.
Defense Attorney Michael Felice plans to ask the judge for a lesser sentence, and Savoie will be examined by an expert prior to his sentencing. Felice stated, in a declaration asking for the expert, he plans to present evidence about mitigating circumstances including Savoie's age maturity, sophistication and developmental condition at the time of the crime.
Savoie and Jake Eakin were 12 years old when they beat and stabbed Sorger to death, according to court records. Savoie dropped a rock on the victim's head and pressured Eakin to take part.
The day of the murder, Savoie and Eakin were dropped off at Oasis Park in Ephrata. They went to Sorger's house and invited him to play, according to court records.
Sorger's mother became concerned when the boy didn't return. His body was found in Oasis Park.
Eakin pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree in April 2005 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.