Savenok pleads guilty in murder of wife, fetus


Yevgeniy Savenok pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional second-degree murder in the death of his wife and the fetus she was carrying. He also agreed to a prison sentence of more than 65 years, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Savenok, 31, was slated to go on trial next week on first-degree murder charges. Had he been convicted, his automatic sentence would have been life without parole.

Instead, he agreed to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Lyubov Savenok and their son, Ellis, who was born through an emergency caesarean but died a few minutes later.
He also agreed that there were aggravating circumstances that would allow a higher sentence to be imposed than called for under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Those circumstances are that the victims were particularly vulnerable, the crime was done with particular cruelty, the murder was committed in the presence of a minor and it occurred in Lyubov’s zone of privacy. He will be sentenced to 787 months in prison at his hearing on March 2.

Under questioning from his attorney Thursday morning, Savenok admitted that Lyubov was 26 weeks pregnant and was in their Eden Prairie home on May 14, along with Lyubov’s teenaged sister. Savenok went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed his wife at least 11 times, he admitted. Two of the stabs cut the jugular vein and a major artery near the heart. He also acknowledged that the baby was not injured by the knife, but that because of the mother’s injuries, there was fetal stress and ultimately the baby died and he was responsible under the doctrine of transfer of intent.