DEFIANCE COUNTY, OH – The shooting death of a man in 2003, once considered accidental, is now being called a murder orchestrated by Judith Hawkey, a woman who prosecutors say forced her 10-year-old stepson to shoot his father to death.
On Nov. 3, 2003, police responded to an accidental shooting call at the home of Robert Breininger and his then wife, Judith Hawkey. Police would find Robert dead in a bedroom from a single gunshot wound to the head. It was claimed that the shooting was accidental and involved Breininger’s 10-year-old son.
While the death was ruled accidental, a recent investigation has prosecutors charging Hawkey with murder. Prosecutors allege Hawkey tortured and abused the 10-year-old over a three year period, and forced the boy to kill his own father.
No word on what information led to the case being re-opened a decade later, but a grand jury indicted Hawkey this month. “The information on what caused the investigation to be reopened as a homicide is not something I can comment on publicly,” said Defiance County Prosecuting Attorney Morris Murray.
Hawkey is now facing six charges, including felony aggravated murder, four counts of endangering children, and insurance fraud. She’s being held at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio on a $3 million bond.
While they may not be releasing the new information that lead to Hawkey’s arrest, it’s not too hard to figure out. Either she talked to someone who turned, or the boy, who would now be 20-years-old, finally came clean with what happened the day he shot his father.