Claudia Hoerig rejects plea deal

Trial pushed back to January 2019

WARREN — Claudia Hoerig, who is accused of murdering her husband, Air Force Maj. Karl Hoerig, in 2007 and then fleeing to Brazil for more than a decade, appeared in court Thursday morning and rejected a plea deal, according to a court official.

Her trial also was pushed back until next year, court records state. Hoerig’s trial was set to begin Sept. 17 but on Thursday it was reset to Jan. 19 after Hoerig waived her right to a speedy trial for 150 days, the records state.

Details of the plea deal Hoerig rejected were not discussed during Thursday’s hearing, the court official said. Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Logan has issued a gag order in the case barring anyone from discussing the case with media.

Hoerig, 54, faces a charge of aggravated murder with a firearm specification and is accused of killing her husband in their Newton Falls home in March 2007. Karl Hoerig, 43, was a commercial airline pilot and a major with the 910th Airlift Wing out of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna.

Karl Hoerig was shot in the back of his head while tying his shoes. His body was found by police three days later. The day of the shooting, Claudia Hoerig emptied his bank account, wired money to relatives in Brazil and bought a .357 revolver, according to investigators.

They said she used that gun to shoot Karl Hoerig and she then fled the U.S. to avoid prosecution.

Hoerig used her husband’s status as a commercial airline pilot to fly to Brazil, where she remained for almost 11 years while local, state and federal law enforcement and elected officials fought to have her brought back to stand trial.

The Brazilian government revoked her citizenship in mid-2013, but she filed numerous appeals to fight extradition until April 2016, when the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled the revocation of her citizenship was legal.

Hoerig was booked into the Trumbull County Jail Jan. 18 after nearly 11 years of evading capture in Brazil. She was returned to Trumbull County under an extradition treaty between the U.S. and Brazil.