WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The woman accused of killing her husband, Air Force pilot Karl Hoerig, in 2007 appeared in a packed Trumbull County courtroom on Friday.
Claudia Hoerig’s bond was set at $10 million on Friday at the request of prosecutors.
She faces an aggravated murder with firearm specification charges. She was appointed a public defender, who entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.
An arrest warrant was issued for Hoerig in April 2007. It was a long fight to get her extradited to the U.S., but on Wednesday, she was flown back into the country.
Family, friends and supporters of Karl Hoerig packed the hearing on Friday. The group Justice for Karl has amassed over 3,000 members.
On Friday, the 910th Airlift Wing said it believes justice for Karl is within reach:
Since 2007, members of the 910th Airlift Wing, along with many residents of the Mahoning Valley, have been anxiously awaiting the extradition of the alleged murderer of U.S. Air Force Reserve Maj. Karl Hoerig from the country of Brazil.
After nearly 11 years, the tireless efforts of many of the 910th’s community partners including federal and state legislators, law enforcement, local and national media outlets as well as countless others have come to fruition as the individual charged with this crime has finally been returned to the United States and was arraigned in Trumbull County Court this morning.
The thoughts and prayers of the Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 910th Airlift Wing and our Youngstown Air Reserve Station family are with Maj. Hoerig’s family as they prepare for the upcoming trial to achieve justice for their loved one and our fallen comrade in arms.
Those who knew him know Maj. Hoerig would want our mission at the 910th to go on. The loss of our Wingman and friend has been an emotional and difficult experience. But, today, we stand together as professional, resilient Airmen performing our mission, believing justice for Karl and peace for his family is within reach at last.
Claudia Hoerig is accused of shooting her husband Karl multiple times inside their 9th Street home in Newton Falls. Prosecutors say Hoerig emptied the couple’s bank accounts before fleeing to her native Brazil, where she escaped prosecution for the last 10 years.
In a decade-long fight, local prosecutors, lawmakers and supporters of Karl Hoerig were able to make a case to have Hoerig extradited back to the United States. According to Erin Moriarity, a CBS news correspondent for 48 Hours, this is the first time a Brazilian-born citizen has been extradited.
After Friday’s hearing, Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins and representatives of the FBI, State Department and U.S. Marshal Service addressed the crowd about the team effort it took to get Claudia here.
“It was a long, difficult, often frustrating process for everyone involved, including the prosecutor; most importantly, the family, but we’re here today because of these collective efforts,” said FBI Special Agent Stephen Anthony.
“I’m just very, very happy she’s here, and I want to make sure she gets a fair trial,” Watkins said.
Judge Andrew Logan set some conditions should Claudia post bond, which included turning in her passports and being under electronic monitoring. She would also be limited to staying in Trumbull County.
Hoerig is scheduled to appear in court again for a pretrial on February 6.