LIMA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio appeals court has ordered a new trial for a woman accused of compelling her 10-year-old stepson to fatally shoot his father in 2003 and say it was accidental.
Judith Hawkey, of Oakwood, was convicted of aggravated murder, insurance fraud and child endangering and was sentenced in 2013 to life in prison.
Judges from Ohio’s Third District Court of Appeals ruled this week that testimony from three witnesses — a child abuse pediatrician, a former teacher, and a clinical psychologist — should’ve been inadmissible at trial. The court found the evidence was based primarily on the stepson’s testimony.
The death of Hawkey’s husband initially was ruled accidental, but authorities reopened the case in 2012 after receiving new information indicating Hawkey physically and emotionally abused her stepson.
He wasn’t charged.