Rie Hachiyanagi, a former art professor at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, has been sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison for attacking and severely injuring her colleague in a 2019 attack.
Wednesday’s sentencing came five days after Hachiyanagi pleaded guilty to nine charges connected to the assault on Lauret Savoy, People reported. The charges include three counts of armed assault with intent to murder a person over 60, one count each of home invasion, as well as mayhem and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony.
“She betrayed my trust, invaded my home, and tried to kill me with premeditated violence,” Savoy said at the hearing. “The cruelty she wielded with weapons and expressed in words, was extreme.”
How a Mass. Professor Survived Colleague’s ‘4-Hour Torture Session’ and Convinced Her to Call 911. Savoy’s colleague Rie Hachiyanagi showed up at Savoy’s home saying she wanted to “talk about her feelings.” As soon as she stepped inside, Hachiyanagi, 50, began hitting Savoy. pic.twitter.com/9cSEAW6G2F
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Police said Hachiyanagi went to Savoy’s home on Dec. 23. 2019, saying she wanted to “talk about her feelings.” After entering the house, the 50-year-old instructor attacked her colleague with a rock, a fire poker and garden shears for four hours.
Hachiyanagi then called 911 on the next morning, saying she found Savoy “in a pool of blood,” “barely breathing,” and “semi-conscious and with a head injury.”
According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the assailant told police that she saw signs of a struggle. Police, however, said they didn’t see any signs of an intruder. Hachiyanagi also said she was covered in blood because she had been holding her friend.
Savoy was rushed to a hospital. She was treated for broken bones in her nose and eye area, as well as numerous lacerations and puncture wounds on her head and face.
The educator said she “thought she was going to die at the hands of Hachiyanagi.”
While she was fighting for life, Savoy asked the perpetrator to explain why she was carrying out the attack, police said. Hachiyanagi replied, saying “that she loved her for many years and she should have known.”
Hoping to stop the attack, Savoy played along with her colleague. She told Hachiyanagi that she has the same feelings and also urged her to call 911.
Police said they found the attacker with Savoy’s keys, cell phone and glasses when they came to arrest her at her home on Dec. 24.
Judge Francis Flannery described the attack as “one of the most horrific set of facts” he has ever heard.
“Professor Savoy is certainly a victim of a horrific crime, but that’s not what I’m going to remember,” the judge said according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office. “I’m going to remember that she had the presence of mind and the courage to convince her attacker not to kill her. As her body was failing her, she used her mind to save herself. That’s remarkable.”