HomeA former Mount Holyoke professor pleads guilty to attempting to murder a colleague

A former Mount Holyoke professor pleads guilty to attempting to murder a colleague


a crime

Former art professor Rei Hachianagi was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison for brutally attacking his fellow professor in 2019.

Mount Holyoke College. Wikimedia Commons

The case of Ray Hachianagi’s attack on Lorette Savoy contained the “most shocking set of facts” Judge Francis Flannery had ever heard.

On Wednesday, Flannery sentenced Hachianagi, 50, to 10 to 12 years in prison in connection with a brutal four-hour attack and attempted murder in 2019 that left Savoy with permanent injuries, according to the Northwest District Attorney’s Office.

“Professor Savoy is certainly the victim of a horrific crime, but that is not what I will remember,” Flannery said. “I will remember that she had the brains and courage to convince her attacker not to kill her. When her body was failing her, she used her mind to save herself. That’s cool.”

Hachianagi and Savoy were professors at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts when the attack occurred in the early morning hours of December 24, 2019. Hachianagi led the arts department, and Savoy studied geology and environmental studies.

According to 2020 reports from The Daily Hampshire GazetteSavoy told state police that Hachianagi showed up at her home late on December 23 and said she “wanted to talk about her feelings”. After Savoy invites her inside, Hachiyanagi attacks her with fists, stones, pruning shears, and fireball poker. Savoy told the police that she believed Hachianagi would kill her, and when Hachianagi asked why she was attacking her, Hachianagi said she “loved her for many years” and “should have known”. Hours later, Savoy manages to convince Hachianagi to call 911 by “playing along” and lying that she loved Hachianagi again.

At the hearing, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Thomas described the attack as a “four-hour torture session” that continued until Savoy was able to persuade Hachianagi to seek help. However, Savoy suffered psychological trauma and serious physical injuries, some of which she suffers to this day.

Although Hachianagi initially pleaded not guilty to several counts, on Friday she pleaded guilty to nine counts, including three counts of armed assault with intent to kill a person over the age of 60; Three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over the age of 60; One counts breaking into the house, cluttering, and entering at night with the intention of committing a felony.

On Wednesday, Flannery pondered various sentencing recommendations from the prosecution and the defense, saying he found the case worrisome because the defense presented evidence that Hachianagi was a decent and kind person with no criminal record.

“But on the other hand, I have this defendant who tried to torture to death over the course of four hours someone who was not an enemy, but a friend,” Flannery said. “But I still don’t understand. I still don’t see a proper explanation for what happened. This is one of the most shocking facts I’ve heard.”

Although the defense had suggested five to seven years followed by a period of probation, Flannery agreed to the ruling recommended by the prosecution — which he still calls “restricted” — which also includes three years’ probation, an order to stay away from the victim, and ankle monitoring for a period of time. General and psychological counseling.