Judge’s wife charged in poisoning

JEFFERSON – An Ashtabula County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Carla Hague on charges that she intentionally tried to kill via poison her husband, county Judge Charles Hague.

Carla Hague was charged with attempted murder and contaminating a substance for human consumption, both first-degree felonies, according to court documents.

Investigators say Hague, 71, gave her husband ethylene glycol, commonly known as anti-freeze, in September. Authorities have not said how the anti-freeze was administered or provided a motive for the crime.

Carla Hague, a retired nurse, pleaded not guilty to the charges at an afternoon arraignment conducted soon after the indictment was returned, according to court records. Visiting Judge Charles Brown, assigned to hear the case by the Ohio Supreme Court, set bond at $100,000.

Carla Hague has spent the 17 days since her arrest in a Lake County Jail, according to court records.

If Carla Hague posts bond, she must also meet a lengthy list of conditions that include wearing an electronic device that monitors her whereabouts and an order to stay away from her Saybrook house.

A pre-trial hearing will be conducted Jan. 7. No trial date has been set, Marianne Sezon, court administrator, told the Star Beacon newspaper in Ashtabula.

Because of conflicts, the Ashtabula County prosecutor’s office will have no involvement in the case, Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci said Wednesday. Handling the state’s case will be Leigh Bayer, assigned by the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Carla Hague will be represented by local attorney William Bobulsky, according to court documents. Bobulsky did not immediately return a call from the Star Beacon seeking comment.

Investigators with the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department said they were contacted by relatives of the judge on Sept. 19, four days after he took ill, was taken to Ashtabula County Medical Center and then transferred to Cleveland Clinic by medical helicopter. Judge Hague had a high level of ethylene glycol in his system, Sheriff William Johnson said.

Deputies, with the help of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and FBI, determined Judge Hague, 71, had been deliberately poisoned, according to the police report. Hague has not returned to the bench, but is expected to resume his duties early next year, officials have said.

Carla and Charles Hague have been married for 45 years, according to reports. Charles Hague has been judge of the county’s probate and juvenile courts since 1993.