Final pitch: Prosecutors in Hoerig case say murder was calculated; defense claims passion

Local News

Attorneys made their final pitch to the men and women who will ultimately decide the outcome of Claudia Hoerig’s murder case.

It’ll be up to the jury to decide this case once they receive their instructions Thursday morning as this trial nears its end in a nearly 12-year quest for justice.

“You speak for Karl Hoerig,” said Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker, addressing the jurors.

In his closing argument on Wednesday, Becker told them they speak for justice.

“There’s no defense here,” he said.

“She lost her temper after the horrible statements he made,” said John Cornely, Hoerig’s attorney. “She shot him five times. One, two, three, four. She walks down the steps, she shoots him one time again. That’s exactly what happened. There’s no prior calculation and design.”

“On the airplane 11 years later, she had time to think of a story,” Prosecutor Dennis Watkins said.

Hoerig is accused of killing her husband, Air Force Major Karl Hoerig, on March 12, 2007 at his home in Newton Falls.

“His body went straight down. Boom,” she said on the witness stand Tuesday.

Wednesday, the seventh day of her trial, got a late start. Hoerig was taken to the hospital 45 minutes before she was scheduled to be back on the witness stand for cross-examination.

Her attorneys released a short statement, saying she was ill. Major Dan Mason said she was taken to the hospital as a precaution in reference to an issue with her heart.

Once she was back in the courtroom, Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker questioned her for a little over 30 minutes.

“Ten steps down to where his body was and you put the gun 12 to 24 inches from his head and pulled the trigger, correct?” Becker asked her.

“Probably,” she replied.

Hoerig is charged with aggravated murder but the jury can consider a lesser charge of murder or the inferior offense of voluntary manslaughter.

The jury will be given their instructions and start deliberations at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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