Hearing dates set in Hawkey murder case

By TODD HELBERG cnedit@crescent-news.com Published:

Hearing dates were set Monday for an Oakwood woman charged in Defiance County Common Pleas Court with the murder of her husband and abuse of his son.

Judith Hawkey, 45, Oakwood, appeared for her first pretrial hearing on charges of aggravated murder, an unclassified felony punishable by life imprisonment; insurance fraud, a third-degree felony; and four counts of endangering children, one a second-degree felony, the other third-degree felonies.

"It was pretty routine," said Defiance County Prosecutor Morris Murray of Monday's proceedings with Hawkey's attorney, Clayton Crates of Defiance. "We're still in the discovery phase of the case."

According to Murray, a further pretrial date was scheduled for April 29 while an additional hearing was set for May 21 to consider pretrial motions, if any are filed before then.

A trial date has been scheduled for June 3, but that date is very tentative.

Hawkey is being held in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, rural Stryker, on a $3 million bond set by Judge Joseph Schmenk.

The aggravated murder charge stems from what was originally reported as an accidental shooting of Hawkey's then husband, Robert Breininger, on Nov. 3, 2003, at 09463 Kyle St. in Mark Center.

The accidental shooting involved Breininger's then 10-year-old son, who is the alleged victim in the child endangering charges. They allege that over a three- to four-year period, Hawkey "tortured or cruelly abused a child."

The boy is now 20, and lives outside of Ohio, according to Murray.

Hawkey also allegedly collected insurance benefits due to the murder.

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