Having seen many cases of women getting a pass for violent crimes against men, the details of a recent plea deal given to a female killer in Ellsworth, Maine dispels all illusions about equality and justice.
The case involved a woman named Savanah Lynn Smith who was charged with murdering her boyfriend’s 2 year old daughter, little Kloe Hawksley.
Former prosecutor Mary Kellett-Gray was the woman’s defense co-counsel and negotiated a plea deal with assistant attorney general Leanne Robbin. The plea deal was accepted by judge Robert Murray.
It allowed Savannah Smith to avoid taking responsibility through a ‘no contest’ plea, also known as an Alford plea. The sentence was to be “10 years” in prison. With credit for good behavior her attorney stated she will be free in 6 years, however with credit for her time in custody, Smith would likely be freed in just 5 years.
The plea deal was given despite gruesome details and evidence in the case.
At sentencing, assistant attorney general Leanne Robbin stated that the child died from blunt force trauma to the torso; that “Kloe’s small intestine was severed from her stomach” and that “Kloe was a victim of repeated physical abuse.”
At the hearing, the child’s father, Tyler Hawksley said, “I cannot express enough the pain, anger, and frustration this has caused in these past few years.”
The child’s mother, Keeli Cousins, told the judge that “Every morning when I wake up I have to remind myself that in the end Kloe will no longer be abused. [We] will spend the rest of our lives trying to heal and I can only hope that somehow there is justice for Kloe”.
Defense attorney Mary Kellett advocated for the female killer, arguing that, “She is just 22 now […] she is definitely a probation candidate because of her youth but also her willingness to grow and learn and contribute to society.”
Savannah Smith addressed the court stating, “I’m sorry for the role I had in what happened. I can’t take back anything I did or didn’t do.”
Speaking to local media after the hearing, assistant attorney general Leanne Robbin said the killer “basically spared the family” from a trial and she will now have a chance to turn her life around. “That’s what it’s all about” said AAG Robbin, “this is a game-changer for her, to accept responsibility for manslaughter.”
Did Kloe’s parents feel “spared” from a criminal trial? Do they believe 5 years in prison, no admission of responsibility, and helping the child killer turn her life around is what justice is “all about” in this case?
Kellett’s co-counsel, defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein, told the media that “I know that the family had some misgivings, but these cases are always in the nature of compromise.”
At sentencing, judge Robert Murray stated, “Savannah Smith, you did recklessly cause the death of Kloe Hawksley”.
Does that mean the investigation, the medical examiner’s report, and the murder charge were all just trumped up? On one hand the prosecution presented medical examiner’s findings of Kloe’s repeated abuse and very violent cause of death. On the other hand, they gave a plea deal and ignored their own evidence in order to call it a “recklessly caused” death by manslaughter.
Having followed many cases in Maine, such mental and legal gymnastics have only been performed for female perpetrators. Whether it’s for murder, manslaughter, assault, or child molestation; female offenders in Maine routinely get outrageous plea deals, while men get punished by the system even for baseless accusations made by scorned ex-lovers.
Females in Maine also get special treatment by the media and domestic violence groups. In little Kloe’s case, no one in the media dared call it a ‘domestic violence homicide’. Nor did Maine domestic violence groups issue press releases, hold vigils, or voiced outrage about the plea deal. Little Kloe’s family and friends were apparently left to fight for justice on their own.
Had Kloe’s killer been a man, the media would endlessly demonize him and create political outrage. Domestic violence groups would hold vigils and issue press releases demanding even stricter new laws and even more funding for their organizations.
Maine’s progressively Orwellian domestic violence laws and “risk assessments” are apparently reserved only for men. Savannah Smith had three young children of her own and was allowed to remain free for 1 ½ years before she was even arrested and charged with murdering little Kloe.
But this really is less about Savannah Smith and more about how such cases are handled.
The same justice system that pretends to give men a fair trial plays a different game of ‘pretend’ for female offenders. Even when investigations of female crimes are actually conducted, the evidence often ends up being deemed as somehow insufficient for prosecution. Female feelings, motives, and personal circumstances are given extraordinary weight to allow very special treatment using very different standards.
In the case of little Kloe, the public was gaslighted to believe that the plea deal resulted in Smith taking full responsibility to be paid for with “10 years” in prison while “sparing the family from a trial”. Even the prosecutor in the case was publicly advocating for this female as if she is the victim. How many prosecutors publicly advocate for game changing plea deals to help male child killers turn their life around?
A system which abuses power for political and personal agendas is not a system that is concerned with truth or justice. Like countless male victims in Maine, little Kloe Hawksley and her family are victims of Maine’s radical feminist justice system that has made female criminals a protected class.
Those who have dealt with that corrupt and biased system, and its officers, understand that they are not concerned with truth or justice.
Nothing can illustrate it better than a judge, a prosecutor, and defense attorneys showing more concern for a female killer’s future than for a 2 year old child who she brutally killed.
© Vladek Filler