Lovelorn Arts Prof Imprisoned for Butchering Colleague With Hearth Poker

Screenshot/WWLP through YouTube

A professor at a New England liberal arts school for ladies, who used a fireplace poker, rock, and pruning shears to torture a colleague for hours, was sentenced on Wednesday to a minimum of a decade in jail.

Rie Hachiyanagi, 50, an artwork professor at Mount Holyoke Faculty in western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley, pleaded responsible in Franklin County Superior Court docket on Friday to 9 prices in reference to the assault on fellow professor Lauret Savoy at Savoy’s house, in accordance with Northwestern District Legal professional David Sullivan.

After the change of plea listening to final week, Choose Francis Flannery recessed the courtroom till Wednesday morning, the place he sentenced Hachiyanagi to 10 to 12 years in state jail.

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Hachiyanagi appeared at Savoy’s house late at night time on Dec. 23, 2019, and claimed she was in search of emotional help after a breakup.

After Savoy opened the door, Hachiyanagi bludgeoned her, held her in what prosecutors referred to as a “four-hour torture session” that continued into the early hours of Christmas Eve, and allegedly instructed Savoy she had liked her for years and Savoy ought to have identified her emotions.

In an affect assertion shared in courtroom, Savoy, who taught geology and environmental research, stated that she suffered “literal torture of physique and of thoughts, not figuring out if I might survive the following minute—but needing to search out some option to save my life.”

Savoy stated that Hachiyanagi instructed her she wouldn’t dwell for much longer after remarking on how a lot blood she had misplaced, in accordance with the Greenfield Recorder, and continued to look at her bleed, whereas taunting her and telling her she could be blinded and disfigured earlier than she was killed.

“She betrayed my belief, invaded my house, and tried to kill me with premeditated violence,” Savoy stated. “The cruelty she wielded with weapons, and expressed in phrases, was excessive.”

In line with prosecutors, Savoy sustained stab and puncture wounds, along with damaged bones. Her face was fractured after Hachiyanagi restrained her and repeatedly punched her in an act of “random savagery.”

Savoy ultimately persuaded Hachiyanagi to hunt assist, prosecutors stated, however her trauma has endured.

“The emotional, bodily, monetary, {and professional} impacts of this crime have been enormous they usually proceed,” Savoy stated Friday. “Now the defendant’s violation of me is changing into a part of a public persona that I didn’t select. She has invaded my privateness, my profession, my life.”

Hachiyanagi pleaded responsible to prices together with three counts of armed assault to homicide an individual age 60 or older, three counts of assault and battery with a harmful weapon on an individual age 60 or older, and single counts of mayhem, house invasion, and coming into a dwelling at night time for a felony, in accordance with the district lawyer’s workplace.

Her lawyer, Thomas Kokonowski, had pushed for a shorter sentence of 5 to seven years that may very well be adopted by probation. He reasoned that Hachiyanagi didn’t have a historical past of legal offenses earlier than attacking Savoy. He additionally argued that Hachiyanagi made efforts to handle her indignant outbursts.

Hachiyanagi had initially pleaded not responsible to the fees in February 2020 and had been held with out bail on the Franklin County Jail following her arrest. Final month, a Franklin County Superior Court docket decide dominated that, with situations, she may very well be launched if $5,000 money bail was posted. That bail was revoked after Hachiyanagi modified her plea on Friday.

The previous professor started instructing at Mount Holyoke in 2004, and earlier than the assault had taught within the college’s studio artwork, artwork historical past, and Asian research departments.

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