Clauida Hoerig says she’s sick but won’t let trial be moved back

By Ed Runyan


There was plenty of discussion about moving the trial date back in the Claudia Hoerig murder case during a hearing Thursday, in part because Hoerig told the judge she is having problems with dizziness, but she refused to allow the case to be reset to January.

In the end, Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court left open the possibility that the case will be pushed back, but for now it’s still set for Sept. 17.

Hoerig is charged with killing her husband, Maj. Karl Hoerig, in their Newton Falls home in March 2007 and fleeing to her native Brazil. Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins and numerous federal officials spent years working to get Hoerig returned to Trumbull County to face trial.

One of her attorneys, David Rouzzo, suggested he would like more time to respond to a report the defense team recently received from a crash reconstructionist from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Rouzzo filed a motion Thursday asking Judge Logan to approve the hiring of a crime-scene consultant to assist in Hoerig’s defense, apparently because of the reconstructionist report. It’s unknown why a reconstruction report was written.

When Judge Logan asked Hoerig directly whether she would allow the trial to be pushed back to January, she spoke about her dizziness and medication she wants for it.

“I’m extremely sick” and can’t sleep, Hoerig said from her seat at the defense table. “How can I go to trial? I cannot think.”

Hoerig has remained in the county jail since her return to Trumbull County in January.

When the judge pressed her further about moving the trial back to January 2019, Hoerig said she “can’t wait” that long. The judge said the Sept. 17 trial date will remain “for the time being.”

Hampering the defense team was the recent retirement of Matt Pentz of the Ohio Public Defender’s office. Atty. John Cornely, head of the trial division of the Ohio public defender’s office replaced Pentz and was in court Thursday.

Also during Thursday’s hearing, Rouzzo asked Judge Logan to lift the gag order the judge instituted earlier, but the judge denied the request.

He set a final pretrial hearing for 1 p.m. Sept. 13.

Judge Logan recently denied defense requests to suppress statements Hoerig made to investigators on the airplane ride back to Ohio from Brazil and other evidence.

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