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Owing to the lack of an official translation of the Japan-only Gyakuten Kenji 2, the information and names in this article come from the unofficial English translation patch known as Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path. More information on this can be found here.
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|Y-you with your "objections", and your "evidence"... Just who do you think you are!?|
Frank Sahwit was the sole witness to the murder of Cindy Stone, the victim in defense attorney Phoenix Wright's first case. Despite claiming to be a mere door-to-door newspaper salesman, Sahwit was actually a common burglar who pretended to sell newspapers as a front for learning when people left their homes in order to burgle them.
Murder of Stone
- Main article: The First Turnabout
During one of his burglaries, Sahwit was caught in the act by the owner of the apartment, Cindy Stone. He picked up the nearest blunt object he could find, a clock in the shape of "The Thinker", and hit her over the head with it. The 12-hour clock then spoke the time - 1:00 - which Sahwit believed was the real time. Stone died of blood loss, and Sahwit decided to frame her ex-boyfriend Larry Butz, who had visited her apartment on the day of the murder.
During Butz's subsequent trial, Sahwit was called as the sole witness to the murder. While acting in a very sycophantic way throughout, he claimed that he had found Stone's body at 1:00 p.m. However, the autopsy report contradicted this by placing the time of death as 4:00 p.m. Sahwit tried to explain why he had been so sure of the time without revealing the truth. His testimony, however, was full of holes and often contradicted his earlier statements. Butz's rookie defense attorney, Phoenix Wright, exploited these flaws and, upon confirming that the clock-statue was three hours behind, accused Sahwit of the murder.
In response, Sahwit dropped his sycophantic façade and threw his toupée at Wright's face in a rage. Revealing his true, angry nature, he claimed that Wright could not prove that the clock was three hours slow at the time of the murder. However, Wright - with the aid of his mentor, Mia Fey - explained that the victim had gone to France the day before the murder, proving that the clock was actually nine hours ahead. At this, Sahwit broke down at the witness stand, hyperventilating until he foamed at the mouth and collapsed. Butz was subsequently declared not guilty and Wright's career took off, while Sahwit was convicted and imprisoned.
- Main article: The Imprisoned Turnabout
Over the following three years, Sahwit became a model prisoner and trained to become an animal groomer for the therapy animals living in the prison, hoping that this would help get his sentence reduced. One day, he fell and broke his electronic prison bracelet, which would send an electric shock to prisoners who tried to enter certain rooms unattended. Because of this, he was secretly able to move about the prison as he pleased. Prison warden Patricia Roland eventually found out, but instead of punishing him or replacing the bracelet, she decided to use him to further her own ends. On a weekly basis, Sahwit would access the circuit breaker and cut the power, then return later on to restore the power. In exchange, he would be able to keep his little secret, and Roland would give him special treatment.
One day, in Workroom B, Sahwit was putting a mudpack on Jay Elbird's pet polar bear cub Rocky when the cub escaped from him and ran away. While following the animal, Sahwit peeked into the neighboring Workroom A, only to see the imprisoned assassin Sirhan Dogen's large black dog Anubis biting into the neck of Horace Knightley's corpse. After the dog left, Sahwit sneaked into the room to see if there was anything of value on the corpse, but had to leave before he could take anything due to an imminent prison roll-call. Afterward, he returned to Workroom B and let out a scream to make it seem that he had only just found the body.
Unfortunately for Sahwit, the cosy set-up he had with the warden was ruined with the arrival of Miles Edgeworth, who used his calm interrogation methods to reveal what Sahwit knew about the murder. As before with Wright, Sahwit eventually became so enraged at being backed into a corner that he threw his toupée at Edgeworth. Nonetheless, he was forced to admit that his bracelet was broken, leading Edgeworth to confiscate it and order the prison guards to give him a working replacement. Edgeworth's investigation eventually revealed that Roland had killed Knightley. For his role as an accomplice to Roland, Sahwit's prison sentence was extended, much to his fury.
|Gwaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Shutupshutupshutup! I hate you! I-it was him, I tell you! I saw him! H-he killed her and he should burn! Burn! Give him death!|
Sahwit is smarmy, sycophantic, and nosy, but hides a short and volatile temper. He has a habit of telling fairly transparent lies, then getting angry when he is challenged. His words often betray his excellent poker face, thereby giving away his true nature. All of his efforts as a model prisoner are just a front to ensure that his prison sentence is reduced. When his sentence was extended due to his actions as Roland's accomplice, he flew into a rage and admitted that he did not actually care about animal grooming.
- His Japanese name, "Yamano Hoshio" (山野星雄), may be a play on the phrase "yama no hoshi", which literally means "star of the mountain". This may be because, during the trial, he states that, "We climb mountains because they are there", in reference to him being compelled to "peek" at Stone's crime scene. "Yama" and "hoshi" are also both Japanese police slang for a likely perpetrator, similar to the English term "perp".
- "Frank Sahwit" literally reads as "frank saw it". Ironically, he is not really a frank person, seeing as he lies a lot, and although he actually committed the crime, he didn't "see it" properly, leading to his hole-filled testimony. Wright made a joke out of the name, calling Sahwit "Mr. Did It" after he had proven that Sahwit had killed Stone.
- "Frank Khavu" comes from the French phrase "frank qu'a vu", meaning "frank who saw it".
- In the unofficial Brazilian translation his name is "Franco Elvisso". "Franco" is a simple adaptation of the English name, and "Elvisso" is a surname invented to make a pun on the phrases "Eu vi isso" (I saw it) and "Eu fiz isso" (I did it).
- The birthmark on his forehead was added to clarify that the murderer in the opening cutscene and the man at the witness stand were the same person.
- The developers added him to The Imprisoned Turnabout as a way of celebrating the Ace Attorney series' 10th anniversary, noting that any long-time player would associate him with the series.
- The animal design on Sahwit's apron in The Imprisoned Turnabout is the same as that of Delicia Scones' apron in The Inherited Turnabout.
- His appearance in The Imprisoned Turnabout suggests that not everyone convicted of homicide in the Ace Attorney series is given a life sentence or the death penalty, as it's indicated that he would have been eligible for parole shortly after the case if not for him being Roland's accomplice. This is consistent with real-life, where murders committed in the spur of the moment (second-degree murder) are generally punished less severely than those that are premeditated (first-degree murder). In fact, given the relatively short amount of time that Sahwit served (around 2 years, 9 months) before his near-parole, it's possible that he was convicted of a lesser crime such as manslaughter, as the first game does not indicate that he actively intended to kill Cindy Stone.
- His mugshot in The Imprisoned Turnabout is almost the same as the one used in his previous appearance. The only differences are his attire and that his head is a little smaller.
- In earlier versions of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, his age was stated as 36. However, in Gyakuten Kenji 2, his age was changed to 47. This retcon carried over into Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy HD and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, which list his age as 44. However, in non-3DS versions of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, his age was reverted to 36.