COLUMBUS - State Sen. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta) introduced a concurrent resolution this week in the Ohio Senate urging the President of the United States, the US Secretary of State, and the US Congress to compel the nation of Brazil to extradite Claudia Hoerig to stand trial for the 2007 aggravated murder of her husband, Major Karl Hoerig. Also included in Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 6 is a request for the United States to terminate foreign aid payments to Brazil if Claudia Hoerig is not extradited.
“The saga involving Ms. Hoerig has gone on for too long, but I will continue to do all I can to bring her back to the US to answer for her crimes,” said Sen. O’Brien. “The evidence of her involvement in the murder of Major Hoerig is overwhelming. I’m hopeful that we can help provide closure to his family and friends after more than 10 years spent trying to bring Claudia to justice.”
Major Karl Hoerig was found shot in the back of the head in his home in Newton Falls, OH, on March 12th, 2007, having been killed approximately three days earlier. According to investigators, three days before Major Hoerig’s body was found - around the time of the murder - his wife Claudia Hoerig, a Brazilian citizen, emptied his bank account, wired cash to relatives living in Brazil, and purchased a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver. She then used Major Hoerig’s status as a commercial airline pilot to book a plane ticket and flee to Brazil. Despite having still not been extradited to the US, Ms. Hoerig has since been arrested by Brazilian authorities and has had her Brazilian citizenship revoked.
“This issue has persisted for far too long,” said State Rep. Glenn W. Holmes (D-Girard). Rep. Holmes has introduced similar companion legislation, House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 9, in the Ohio House of Representatives. “Major Karl Hoerig’s loved ones deserve a resolution to this now decade-long ordeal. We hope that these concurrent resolutions will compel the government of Brazil to cooperate further by immediately extraditing Ms. Hoerig so that she may stand trial here in Ohio for the crimes of which she is accused.”
The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil voted 4-1 during the last week of March to extradite Ms. Hoerig. But, much like extraditions involving US nationals, the Brazilian executive branch has the final say in whether extradition proceeds. There may also still be opportunities to appeal her case even after it is out of the Brazilian court system. It is hoped that SCR 6 and HCR 9, though not legally binding, will add to an already massive outcry from local, state, and federal lawmakers for justice, and spur quicker action on behalf of both the US and Brazilian governments.
“All we are waiting on now is for the Brazilian authorities to turn Ms. Hoerig over to us,” continued O’Brien. “There are still a few more steps in the process, but I will continue to push until she has been successfully delivered to American soil.”