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Police and fire

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Ex-wife accused of murder, child endangering, fraud

A grand jury in Defiance County, Ohio, has indicted the former wife of a Mark Center man on a charge of aggravated murder in his death.

She is also charged with child endangering and insurance fraud, accused of collecting the life insurance after the shooting death of her former husband, Robert Breininger.

Defiance County Prosecuting Attorney Morris Murray announced Friday that Judith Hawkey, 45, of Oakwood, Ohio, has been indicted in connection with the death in November 2003 of Breininger in his home on Kyle Street in Mark Center, an unincorporated community between Hicksville and Defiance, Ohio.

The death by a single gunshot wound was reported as an accident, but Murray said in a statement that Hawkey, formerly Judith Breininger, will be prosecuted on the basis of evidence indicating that she caused “an innocent or irresponsible person” to kill Breininger.

The shooting involved a boy who was then 10 years old, the prosecutor’s statement said.

County authorities allege the boy was “tortured or cruelly abused” by Hawkey between ages 7 and 10. She has been charged with four felony counts of endangering.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Defiance County Sheriff’s department at 419-784-1155 or the FBI Crimes Against Children task force at 419-243-6122.

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