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Claudia Hoerig’s attorney: Jury was ‘poisoned’

Appeal says Hoerig was denied fair trial

WARREN — A trial court judge allowed prosecutors to “poison” the jury hearing Claudia Hoerig’s murder trial, an appeal filed by her attorney states.

Michael Partlow argues his client, convicted in January of the 2007 killing of her husband, U.S. Air Force Maj. Karl Hoerig, did not receive a fair trial, the appeal states.

Hoerig has tried to file appeals and other motions in state and federal courts since her 2018 return to the United States from her native Brazil, where prosecutors said she fled to escape justice shortly after her husband was shot. But judges ordered clerks to stop filing her handwritten motions, which levied accusations of judge and prosecutorial misconduct and argued her extradition from Brazil was illegal.

Though Partlow’s appeal avoids the issue of her extradition and the extreme language Hoerig used to paint those on the other side of her case in a negative light, the documents accuse the judge and the prosecutor of being too cozy.

Prosecutors are expected to file a response to Partlow’s arguments in the next few weeks.

Partlow states Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew D. Logan “abused his discretion” by allowing the state to repeatedly make arguments during opening statements. The court also repeatedly sided with prosecutors during the trial, Partlow argues.

“A review of the entire record in this matter reveals that nearly all defense objections were overruled and nearly all prosecution objections were sustained,” Partlow writes.

The jury finding Hoerig guilty of aggravated murder was not supported by facts, Partlow claims.

He argues Hoerig buying a gun, transferring her money to family in Brazil and using her husband’s status as an airline pilot to fly to Brazil isn’t enough evidence to constitute pre-planned murder.

“There is little or no evidence of prior calculation and design in this matter. Furthermore, (the defense) was permitted to poison the jury starting with opening statements,” Partlow argues.

Partlow filed the appeal with the 11th District Court of Appeals on Wednesday, nearly a week after an already extended deadline passed Aug. 15.

He did not respond to messages seeking comment.

He also Wednesday filed a separate document asking the court to accept the appeal, citing his caseload for the delay. In previous filings, Partlow stated he needed time to investigate an interaction between Hoerig and an investigator for the Ohio Office of the Public Defender. This issue is not mentioned in the appeal filed Wednesday.

Hoerig was sentenced to 28 years in prison in February. The sentence holds to parameters set in negotiations between the U.S. and Brazilian government.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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