Judge Alonzo Harris imposed the sentence on Thursday morning after first considering, then dismissing Savoy’s motion for a new trial.
He was convicted in February of one count of second-degree kidnapping and one count of aggravated flight. The jury did not convict on two other kidnapping counts.
Savoy snatched his estranged wife from the shower in her Eunice home in December 2006, throwing her and her two daughters into a car and fleeing.
Eunice police, soon joined by parish, state and other cities’ officers, pursued him across the parish until he stopped and jumped off the bridge. He was captured the next month and has been in and out of 27th District Court since.
His fifth attorney, Suzanne DeMahy of New Iberia, argued that Savoy was convicted on the basis of hearsay evidence -- statements made by the wife to officers following the chase.
She said Savoy did not have the opportunity to confront her either by deposition or in trial testimony, a violation of his rights and a prejudicial trial error.
Prosecutor Glen Marcantel, noting the wife refused to testify out of fear for her safety, said her initial statement to officers qualified under the exception to hearsay rule and as an “excited utterance.”
Harris denied the motion for new trial, then imposed his sentence.
He noted that the pre-sentence investigation revealed the wife continues to live in fear of Savoy and that the daughters are suffering continuing effects from the crime.
The chase was a horrifying experience for the victims, based on the screams, crying and other noises heard on a 911 tape, the result of a cell phone being on in the vehicle without the kidnapper’s knowledge.
At one point, the sound of 18-wheeler horns is heard as they swerve to avoid Savoy’s driving straight at them.
Savoy’s mother testified that she relies on him to assist her at her home due to a medical condition, and that he is also depended upon to get his father to Houston for follow-up treatment from a lung transplant.