NEWTON FALLS – A family of a local military hero, who was murdered 10 years ago, may be getting closer to having the suspect face trial.
The family of Air Force Reserves Major Karl Hoerig says the Supreme Court in Brazil ruled 4 to 1 earlier this week, that Claudia Hoerig is no longer a citizen of Brazil, and is subject to extradition to the United States.
“It is our families position Claudia Hoerig must be returned to Ohio and prosecuted under the laws of Ohio and not the laws of Brazil,” a statement given to Fox 8 from Edwin, Frances, Steve, and Paul Hoerig, Karl’s parents and brothers.
Claudia Hoerig is being held in a jail in Brazil. Officials said they still do no know when she may be sent back to the United States.
She faces charges in Trumbull County for killing her husband, Air Force Reserves Major Karl Hoerig.
Karl Hoerig was killed in his Newton Falls home in 2007.
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.
But finally, after pressure from U.S. officials including Congressman Tim Ryan, a Brazilian judge ordered Claudia Hoerig to be taken into custody.
Family members are hoping she will now be returned to the United States to face charges.
Karl’s good friend, Larry Diemand, says he believes it’s time for Karl to get justice. “The Hoerig family is thankful to the Brazilian Supreme Court for ruling four to one, recognizing Claudia Hoerig is no longer a citizen of Brazil, and is subject to extradition to the United States,” the statement reads. It must also be recognized, Ohio’s penalty in this case, is a life sentence which may include parole. Further, as citizens of this great country, we strongly believe the United States must not surrender its’ sovereign right and the sovereign right of Ohio to prosecute its’ own citizens for crimes committed in this land.”