Ohio woman sentenced in husband's 2003 slaying



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DEFIANCE, Ohio (AP) - A woman who compelled her 10-year-old stepson to shoot his father dead in 2003 and say it was an accident was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole, a prosecutor said.

Judith Hawkey, 46, was sentenced in Defiance County Common Pleas Court, prosecutor Morris Murray said. Hawkey, of Oakwood, was convicted last month of aggravated murder, insurance fraud and child endangering stemming from husband Robert Breininger's death, which was ruled accidental.

Hawkey's attorney, Clayton Crates, didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Thursday.

The case was reopened last year after authorities received new evidence indicating that Hawkey had physically and emotionally abused her stepson and compelled him to shoot his father, directing him what to tell authorities, Murray said.

At least part of Hawkey's motive was nearly $500,000 in insurance money, he said.

Breininger's son, who testified at Hawkey's trial, will not be charged in his father's death, Murray said.

"He obviously carried this secret for a long time," Murray said. "He was only 10 at the time and compelled to do what he did because of physical and emotional abuse."

Murray said Hawkey abused the boy for at least three years before the shooting and continued to abuse him after his father's slaying.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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