The Hoerig Trial Day 8: Claudia Hoerig found guilty in 2007 Newton Falls murder
After nearly twelve years, accused killer Claudia Hoerig could learn her fate in the next few days.
After nearly twelve years, Claudia Hoerig has been found guilty of aggravated murder.
Jury deliberations began Thursday morning in the 2007 murder trial around 9:51 a.m. Just after 1:45 p.m. the jury announced they had reached a verdict.
Fifty-four-year-old Claudia Hoerig was convicted by a jury on the aggravated murder charge with a firearm specification. She could face up to life in prison when she is sentenced on February 8th.
Hoerig shot and killed her husband, Air Force Major Karl Hoerig, on March 12th, 2007 in their Newton Falls home.
Prosecutors say Hoerig then fled to Brazil, where she stayed until she was brought back to Trumbull County on January 17, 2018.
Hoerig's bond has been revoked ahead of her sentencing.
As she sat waiting to hear the jury's verdict Hoerig was visibly upset and crying.
Paul Hoerig, the brother of Major Karl Hoerig says, "The family is extremely happy with the jury's verdict, but it's not over yet until the sentencing."
Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins also says he's extremely pleased with the verdict. It's been a long journey."
The victim's family left the courtroom hugging, crying and saying, "they got it right."
One juror who agreed to talk to 21 News about the verdict says it was obvious that Claudia Hoerig planned to kill her husband because he was leaving her. What he couldn't understand is why she was fighting the charge.
Stephen Bistarkey was juror #10 he says he could tell Hoerig was lying when she testified because things just weren't adding up, "If I accidentally shot somebody out of rage I would be like oh my God what did I do, I shot him! But no, she shot him twice, then went downstairs went to his head and shot him again with the gun 12 to 24 inches away from his head. So she knew what she was doing."
Bistarkey also says it was clear from the evidence that Hoerig planned the murder, she even bought a laser for the gun. But what was most unsettling to Juror #10 was Hoerig's lack of emotion, "She only cried when she talked about her dad, she didn't look like she cared about killing Karl at all, if that was me I would be crying and not wanting to see any pictures. She seemed like she didn't even care really."
And while Juror #10 says the evidence decided the verdict for him, not his emotions, he admits it was difficult seeing the victim's family in the courtroom. "It was heartbreaking for me watching the family sit right here and watching them cry and they want justice. She (Claudia Hoerig) wanted to fight something that she did, she was guilty for it, and she was trying to cover up something you know."
Closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday afternoon on both sides of the case.
Watkins, who has been with the case since it began had the final words in front of a jury.
Appearing to get emotional, Watkins finished off by saying; "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury- Karl Hoerig has been on a long flight. It's time for him to land and put to rest this case. This case which has been proven to you, that she committed the crime as charged. Claudia Hoerig is guilty of aggravated murder."
To read more on closing arguments, as well as the rest of Wednesday's courtroom proceedings: The Hoerig Trial Day 7: Closing arguments end in 2007 murder trial
Jury members were instructed to return at 9 a.m. to get their instructions from the judge before beginning to deliberate.
The jury, made up of ten men and two women, had to decide not only whether they believe the evidence proves Hoerig killed her husband, but whether it was premeditated, or done as a rational response to statements Claudia alleges Karl said to her just moments before the shooting.
When Hoerig appeared in the courtroom Thursday morning a paramedic was stationed nearby.
Court was delayed on Wednesday after officials with the Trumbull County Sheriff's told 21 News that Claudia Hoerig suffered "medical issues" Wednesday morning and was treated by medical staff at the jail.
Major Dan Mason tells 21 News that Hoerig was complaining of heart issues. As a precaution, Mason said she was taken to the hospital to get checked out.
Hoerig returned Wednesday afternoon to face cross-examination by the prosecutors.