Hearing scheduled on defense request to dismiss charges against Claudia Hoerig

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Claudia Hoerig, charged with aggravated murder in the March 12, 2007, shooting death of her husband, Karl Hoerig, is asking for charges to be dismissed based on the length of time it has taken to bring her to trial.

On Tuesday, she appeared in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for her third hearing in the case. Judge Andrew Logan set a 9 a.m. March 15 hearing to hear evidence on the requested dismissal. Her trial date is April 16.

On Friday, her attorneys with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office said dismissal is appropriate because of their interpretation of her rights to a speedy trial.

“Given the lengthy delay in this case, [Hoerig] respectfully submits that her statutory speedy-trial rights were violated and her case must be dismissed,” the filing says.

It notes she was willing to go to trial in Brazil in 2013, but prosecutors refused to prosecute her in Brazil.

The filing says Claudia Hoerig was arrested April 20, 2016, in Brazil, and has been incarcerated since then. They argue the clock on her 90 days should have begun April 20, 2016, not this January, when she was returned here to stand trial.

Defense lawyers say prosecutors made an attempt in a recent filing to detail the efforts they made to bring Claudia Hoerig back to Trumbull County, “but the 10-year delay since indictment and 22-month period of incarceration suggest those efforts were either minimal or met with resistance by Brazilian officials, all beyond the control of the defendant.”

Hoerig, 53, charged with killing Karl Hoerig in their Newton Falls home, spent nearly 11 years in her native Brazil after her husband’s death. Prosecutors say she fled to the South American country after killing her husband.

County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins, federal officials and others worked through legislative and diplomatic channels to persuade Brazil to return her to the United States to stand trial.

The hearing also included discussion of whether Hoerig will allow her case to be tried later than the April 16 trial date set earlier this month.

Defense attorney Matt Pentz said he is not asking at this point for her trial to be later than April 16. Judge Logan noted the outcome of the March 15 hearing might affect the trial date.

Her trial was set for April 16 because Ohio law requires her to tried within 90 days of her arrest unless she waives that right.

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