Last week, the state rested its case in Claudia Hoerig’s murder trial. On Tuesday, the woman herself took the witness stand in her defense.
On Day 6 of her trial, Claudia testified as the defense’s first witness.
She began with the story of how she and Karl Hoerig met on Match.com in 2005. She said they were married within 50 days and she eventually moved from New York to his Newton Falls home.
Claudia described her late husband as controlling, telling her exactly what to wear when she was with him. She said he told her shoes had to be open-toe heels and her shirts had to be small.
“Had to be a certain cut, a certain type. He picked all my clothes.”
Claudia tried to kill herself twice, she said — once with his gun and once with about 30 pills.
After the second time, she stopped trying to work on the marriage.
In 2007, Claudia said she got pregnant. She said she already had two miscarriages since they married. She said she knew Karl wouldn’t want her to have the child.
“I cannot have an abortion so I really thought that my only way out of that mess was to kill myself.”
So she said she got a gun and planned to use it on herself.
When she told Karl she was pregnant, she said he told her she couldn’t have the baby and he hit her.
“When I put the gun to my head, I wanted him to pay attention,” she said.
Claudia said Karl showed no emotion and told her to wait until he left the house to kill herself. She claimed he also told her to go down to the basement to do it so she wouldn’t get blood on his paintings.
She said she decided immediately that if she was going to die, then all three of them were going to die.
“I just got up real fast and positioned myself behind him, and shot the first time and he died instantly.”
Claudia said she thought she fired two more times. Her gun had five bullets.
She said after she shot Karl, she tried killing herself but when she pulled the trigger, it didn’t go off. She’d spent all the rounds without realizing it.
She started heading down to the basement to get more bullets, walked past Karl’s body and called her family in Brazil to say goodbye.
“I called them and said, ‘I lost my mind,'” she said.
They talked her out of suicide and into fleeing to Brazil.
Claudia said the last thing she did at the house was cover Karl’s body.
“I thought if somebody came to the window, they would see his body and I wouldn’t have enough time to leave the country.”
On Wednesday, the prosecution will cross-examine her. You can watch that live on WKBN.com and on the WKBN mobile app.