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Woman who forced stepson, 10, to kill his father is sentenced to life in prison in Defiance County


Judith Hawkey, 46, turns around and addresses her stepson Corey Breininger in the gallery after being sentenced today in the death of Robert Breininger in the Defiance County Common Pleas Court.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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DEFIANCE – Ten years after the fatal shooting of a Defiance County man, the woman who was married to him at the time was sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating his murder.

Judith Hawkey, 46, of Oakwood, Ohio was found guilty last month following a jury trial in Defiance County Common Pleas Court of aggravated murder, insurance fraud, and four counts of endangering children stemming from the Nov . 3, 2003 death of Robert Breininger.

Judge Joseph Schmenk sentenced Hawkey to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mr. Breininger’s death originally was ruled accidental after his then-10-year-old son, Corey, told authorities his father was showing him how to use a gun and talking to him about hunting when the gun discharged, killing Mr. Breininger.

Investigators later learned that Hawkey – the boy’s adoptive mother who had been abusive to him – forced him to shoot his father. Hawkey, who was indicted on the charges earlier this year, collected nearly $500,000 in life insurance.

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