WARREN, Ohio — Prosecutors say a woman accused of killing her husband in Ohio in 2007 and fleeing to her native Brazil confessed while being returned to the U.S. this year and alleged he sexually and mentally abused her.
Fifty-three-year-old Claudia Hoerig in January pleaded not guilty to an aggravated murder charge in the March 2007 death of Karl Hoerig, a 43-year-old U.S. Air Force Reserve and commercial pilot.
She was issued $10 million bond.
Paul Hoerig, Karl’s brother, says the family does not believe Claudia’s allegations that she was abused.
“We knew Karl and what she is saying is not true ,” Paul Hoerig said. “We believe she is trying to make up excuses and try to justify what she did.”
Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins has said Claudia Hoerig, shortly after shooting her husband, and emptying their bank accounts, fled to Brazil. She was able to avoid facing U.S. charges because Brazil’s constitution prohibits the extradition of Brazilian nationals.
She was arrested and sent back to the U.S. after the Brazilian supreme court revoked her citizenship in 2016.
Defense attorneys argue her right to a speedy trial was violated and her case should be dismissed.
According to the court documents, obtained by the Fox 8 I-Team, Claudia Hoerig first confessed to U.S. Marshal’s during her trip from Brazil to Ohio. A portion of the written transcript describes her confession that was released by prosecutors. Claudia Hoerig told investigators, “A wife does not kill her husband without a good reason.”
When she got back to Trumbull County, she gave a video- taped confession to Trumbull County Sheriff Detective Mike Yannucci and Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Boldin. The video of the confession is not yet being released.
Hoerig also said she bought a gun in 2007 because she was going to kill herself. She said she told her husband she was pregnant and she was going to kill herself. She said she became angry when he told her to kill herself in the basement so she didn’t get blood on the paintings and carpet. She said that’s when she shot him.
“So it was too fast. It’s like I think, I don’t remember if I went down and shot two more times or if I shot from the top. From the top of the stairs. That’s what I don’t know. But, but I know I shot three times. That’s what I remember. I may have shot five but I only remember three,” Claudia Hoerig told investigators.
She also said she then tried to kill herself but the gun didn’t work.
Hoerig said she called her father and he convinced her to go back to Brazil. She said once in Brazil , she started an accounting business and remarried. She admitted that she first told her new husband that she fled the U.S. because she feared her husband would kill her.
Claudia Hoerig also told detectives she had three miscarriages.
She said she was “so sorry” for the pain she caused the Hoerig family, saying she knows their pain.