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Ohioan indicted in decade-old killing

Woman allegedly coerced boy, 10, to murder her ex


Nearly 10 years after the death of her husband in Defiance, an Oakwood, Ohio, woman faces a six-count indictment accusing her of murdering him, using a 10-year-old boy to pull the trigger.

A Defiance County grand jury indicted Judith Hawkey, 46, on one count of aggravated murder, four counts of endangering children and one count of insurance fraud. Court documents accuse her of causing a child to commit the murder of her former husband, Robert Breininger.

According to a written statement from Defiance County Prosecutor Morris J. Murray, Hawkey faces a term of life in prison if convicted of aggravated murder. The indictment was handed down earlier in the week but unsealed Friday after Hawkey’s arrest.

Jail records indicate the murder charge involves premeditation.

At 4 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2003, emergency workers arrived at a house at 9463 Kyle St. in Mark Center after a report of an accidental shooting by a 10-year-old boy. On arrival, they found Robert Breininger dead in the bedroom, with a single gunshot wound to the head.

Breininger was pronounced dead at the scene, and the death was initially ruled an accident.

But additional information and an investigation led to the indictment, and evidence suggests she caused “an innocent or irresponsible person” to commit the slaying, Murray said.

The charges of child endangerment relate to the torture and “(cruel) abuse suffered by a child who was between 7 and 10 years old from 2000 to 2003,” according to Murray.

The count of insurance fraud accuses her of illegally collecting life insurance proceeds after her former husband’s death.

Murray said the investigation is ongoing and is asking that anyone with information about Breininger’s death or further information about Hawkey to call the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office at 419-784-1155 or the FBI Crimes against Children Task Force at 419-243-6122.