A woman who said she was raped and beaten by a stranger after being sexually assaulted by a friend was found not guilty of second-degree murder after a trial that lasted six days and saw more than three dozen witnesses.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours Wednesday in the trial of Savart, 22, of the town of Greenville, South Carolina, who was charged with second-and-third-degree manslaughter.
She was not present during the trial.
Savart, who has been a law student at Columbia University, is accused of murdering her friend, Taylor Steed, 23, of Savannah, in September.
Steed was a member of Savarts family and had been dating Savart’s parents when she died.
Her parents, who live in Savannah, told jurors that Steed’s death was the result of Savarte’s violent actions.
Savart has pleaded not guilty to second- and third-degree malice murder and first-degree intentional homicide charges, but has been in custody since her arrest on Sept. 17, when she posted a $50,000 bond.
Stoned is the name of a woman who was sexually assaulted in 2013 by Savart and her friend after she met the stranger at a gas station in Savannah.
The victim, a woman in her 30s, had been drinking alcohol with Savart when Savarte and the stranger got into a bar, the trial heard.
Steed’s mother testified that she knew the woman was a friend of the victim, but she did not want her daughter to have to face the consequences of Savarta’s actions.