Claudia Hoerig files motion to lift gag order
Accuses prosecutor, judge of conspiracy to violate her rights
WARREN — A woman awaiting trial for the 2007 murder of her husband, a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, is asking a federal judge to intervene in her Trumbull County Common Pleas Court case and lift a gag order.
“The gag order is a fraud. I make the news almost daily and it is always fake news,” Claudia Hoerig states in the motion to lift the gag order.
In a sprawling, handwritten motion to the federal court in Youngstown, Hoerig also accuses Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins, Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew D. Logan and other authorities of being in on a conspiracy to violate her rights.
“This gag order is a pretense to prevent Brazil and my lawyers in Brazil, the Brazilian people and the American public from following this case blow by blow,” the motion states. “It is official! It is a conspiracy! It is a political and judicial ‘mafia.'”
Prosecutors cannot comment on the motion to lift the gag order or other contents in the document because of the gag order.
Hoerig, extradited from her native Brazil earlier this year to face the murder charge in the death of Karl Hoerig, argues in the motion that Brazil shouldn’t have handed her over to the Americans to stand trial because proceedings there were not complete. She claims her arrest and extradition were illegal.
Hoerig has filed numerous other motions without an attorney in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio even though her case is being heard in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
It is unclear what Hoerig could accomplish by filing in federal court the motion to lift the gag order on the common pleas court case.
A petition claiming her due process and speedy trial rights were violated by the county court was denied Oct. 24 by federal Judge John R. Adams, who ruled Hoerig has not exhausted her state remedies and so is ineligible to request federal intervention in the case.
Hoerig is the subject of numerous Trumbull County Jail incident reports and has asked the federal court to protect her from jail staff who have “harassed, persecuted and intimidated” her. Hoerig claims she was placed on suicide watch even though she wasn’t suicidal and has been subjected to cell “shakedowns” in the middle of the night.
Karl Hoerig was 43 when he was killed in his Newton Falls home March 12, 2007. He was shot in the back of the head when he bent over to tie 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 then fled the U.S. to avoid prosecution.
Prosecutors said Claudia Hoerig used Karl Hoerig’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.
Her trial is scheduled for Jan. 19 before Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Logan. She turned down a plea deal in the case on Sept. 6; however, details of the proposal were not disclosed because of the gag order.