Claudia Hoerig asks federal judge to toss conviction for husband's murder
The woman convicted of murdering her husband in their Newton Falls home nearly 14 years ago is asking a federal judge to throw out her conviction and free her from prison.
Claudia Hoerig, 57, has petitioned U.S. District Court claiming legal flaws in her January 2019 aggravated murder conviction for the March 2007 shooting death of Air Force Major Karl Hoerig.
Investigators say Claudia Hoerig shot her husband three times and then covered his body with a tarp.
After emptying a bank account, authorities say Hoerig drove to the Pittsburgh airport and boarded a plane where she ultimately ended up in her native Brazil.
After protracted negotiations with the Brazilian government, Hoerig was brought back to Trumbull County in January 2018 on the condition that she would not face the death penalty, which is unconstitutional in Brazil.
A year later Hoerig was found guilty of aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole until 2044.
In a printed legal form filled out by hand at the Dayton Correctional Institution, Hoerig claims there were six legal errors in her conviction including ineffective assistance of legal counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, violation of the extradition treaty with Brazil, violation of her right to a speedy trial, violation of due process because of pretrial publicity and failure to hold a change of venue hearing.
In the 19-page document, Hoerig tells the court that her petition is incomplete because prison officials have restricted her from the law library which holds her criminal record.
In addition, Hoerig attaches a doctor’s note claiming that she is suffering from tendonitis.
"This is the reason this petition is not neat and incomplete. I am injured and it is hard to write and the library access is limited for typing and making copies,” according to a handwritten notation in red ink.
Hoerig filed the petition in Southern Ohio U.S. District Court. The case has been transferred to Northern Ohio.
She is asking the court to appoint a lawyer to represent her and to schedule an evidentiary hearing.
Ohio’s Eleventh District Court of Appeals affirmed Hoerig’s conviction. The Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal.