Man convicted of murder as teen pleads not guilty



EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) — An Ephrata man convicted as a teenager — but tried as an adult — of murdering a playmate in 2003 pleaded not guilty to the slaying Tuesday.

Evan Savoie was arraigned in Grant County Superior Court in preparation for his retrial in the death of 13-year-old Craig Sorger.

Savoie was 12 years old at the time of Sorger’s Feb. 15, 2003 slaying. A jury convicted him in 2006 of first-degree murder and a judge sentenced him to 26 years in prison.

However, his attorneys argued on appeal that Savoie’s right to a public trial was violated when the trial judge closed the courtroom to hear arguments on a motion. The state Appeals Court agreed last month and ordered a new trial.