Claudia Hoerig agrees to push back murder trial date to Jan. 14

Staff report


An attempt to bring Claudia Hoerig to trial quickly after getting her returned from Brazil in January in the aggravated murder of her husband, Karl, fell through Thursday as her trial date was moved to Jan. 14, 2019.

Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court said Atty. David Rouzzo of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, one of her attorneys, requested the delay because he recently received a reconstruction report from prosecutors regarding the crime scene.

Rouzzo mentioned that she had rejected a plea agreement offered by prosecutors. Because of a gag order in the case, the attorneys are barred from talking about the offer.

The defense hired an expert to give opinions on the report, but there is not enough time to do that before the Sept. 17 trial date, the judge said.

Another reason for the delay is that one of Hoerig’s attorneys recently retired, the judge said.

Claudia Hoerig, 54, is charged with killing her pilot-husband, Maj. Karl Hoerig, in their Newton Falls home in March 2007 and fleeing to her native Brazil. Watkins and numerous federal officials spent years working to get her returned to Trumbull County to face trial.

Standing before Judge Logan, she agreed to waive her speed trial rights for 150 days to allow for the new trial date. At her last hearing, she refused to allow the trial date to be postponed, saying she “can’t wait” that long. Hoerig, who is in the county jail, also complained of dizziness and said she needed medication for it. There was no discussion of her health at Thursday’s hearing.

Prosecutors earlier urged Judge Logan not to delay Hoerig’s trial, saying the “time has come to end any unreasonable effort on [Claudia Hoerig’s] part to delay and deny a fair and timely trial.”

But at Thursday’s hearing, apparently after discussing a new trial date with Karl Hoerig’s family, Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins told Judge Logan he did not object to the new trial date.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, who worked to get Claudia Hoerig back to the county to stand trial, issued this statement Thursday night: “While I understand the circumstances, I am disappointed that this trial has been delayed and that justice must continue to wait.

“I have much admiration and every confidence in Prosecutor Watkins and his team. They have been tireless in their efforts over this past decade, and I am fully confident that their steadfast work will finally bring Claudia Hoerig to justice and help to provide the closure that the Hoerig family so deeply deserves.”

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.