Murder defendant barred from filing any more documents in her case
By Ed Runyan
Judge Andrew Logan ordered Thursday that murder defendant Claudia Hoerig no longer be allowed to file handwritten documents in her case, as she did earlier this week that criticized prosecutors, the judge and a variety of other people.
“The document probably should not have been accepted,” Judge Logan said of the Trumbull County Clerk of Court’s office.
Prosecutor Dennis Watkins and assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker filed a motion Thursday asking that Hoerig’s Monday filing be stricken from the record, but Judge Logan said he would take a day or two to rule on that motion.
Becker’s filing says the Dec. 10 filings are “rambling, twaddling documents of drivel and bushwa ... filled with vicious ... attacks.”
Becker said the filings were contrary to the Local Rules of the Trumbull County Common Pleas Court and were contrary to Ohio law. He said a defendant is also not allowed to file briefs on their own when they are represented by a lawyer.
“The defendant has buzzed around social media accounts and filed documents in this case like an annoying bee at a summer picnic, randomly spewing out venom at most everyone.”
Hoerig, 54, is charged with killing her husband, Maj. Karl Hoerig, in their Newton Falls home in 2007 and fleeing to her native Brazil for more than a decade before authorities returned her to Trumbull County to face trial in January.
Also Thursday, Hoerig asked that one of her lawyers with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, David Rouzzo, be replaced.
“We have arranged for that,” Atty. John Cornely, lead attorney in Hoerig’s case, told Judge Logan during a hearing. Hoerig will meet with Alyssa Sidelka, another attorney with the public defender’s office, and decide whether she will accept her as Rouzzo’s replacement, Cornely told Judge Logan.
Cornely, who is Hoerig’s lead attorney, assured the judge the case can still proceed to trial on Jan. 14 as scheduled. Another pretrial hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 10.
Hoerig has been successful in getting her handwritten filings put on the record in federal court, and a federal judge issued a ruling denying her request for charges to be dismissed, saying Hoerig needed to take up the matter in the state courts before he would have jurisdiction.
Soon after, she filed a 13-page, single-spaced letter saying she’d been kidnapped from Brazil in January when she was brought back to the United States, that Judge Logan was violating a federal order, and criticized Rouzzo, the prosecutor’s office and numerous others, saying they were preventing her from getting a fair trial.
The prosecutor’s motion asked that Hoerig be prevented from filing additional motions, saying they serve no “legitimate purpose, other than to undermine the dignity of these proceedings, otherwise delay her case, or just seek attention and promote her own self-importance with pre-trial publicity.”
Cornely, meanwhile, filed a motion Thursday asking Judge Logan to bar the state from introducing evidence regarding her marriage to Dr. Thomas Bolte, with whom she lived in New York City from 1990 to 1999. Cornely said the evidence is inadmissible and irrelevant.