The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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December 4, 2013

Judge's Wife Arrested

Authorities say Carla Hague used antifreeze to poison husband

JEFFERSON — The wife of Ashtabula County Juvenile and Probate Judge Charles Hague was arrested Monday after a lengthy investigation into the intentional poisoning of the judge.

Carla Hague, 71, is being held in the Lake County Adult Probation Facility on charges of felonious assault and attempted murder, the jail confirmed Tuesday.

She was arrested Monday by the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department after a nearly three-month-long investigation into the matter, said Sheriff William R. Johnson.

The couple has been married for 45 years.

Family members of the judge contacted ACSO on Sept. 19 after he was taken to Ashtabula County Medical Center and then flown to the Cleveland Clinic on Sept. 15. The judge was found to have a high level of Ethylene Glycol, or antifreeze, in his system, Johnson said.

Throughout the investigation, ACSO detectives, with the assistance of the FBI  and Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI & I), determined the poisoning had been intentional.

The judge has been off on medical leave since September; however, Johnson said he believes the judge has been checking in with his staff periodically.

Johnson said his department has stayed pretty tight-lipped about the investigation so it wouldn’t be jeopardized.

“We investigate these kind of crimes the same no matter who it is,” he said. “This is a note-worthy case because he is a sitting judge.”

Dodie Mattson, who campaigned for Judge Hague when he ran for election, was in shock when she heard of Carla Hague’s arrest.

“They’re wonderful people,” she said. “I can’t believe it.”

Carla Hague, a retired nurse, will be arraigned in the coming days. ACSO Lt. Terry Moisio said suspects are typically arraigned within 48 hours of their arrest; however, he could not confirm whether that will hold true in this case.

Johnson said Carla Hague is being held in Lake County at his request, because of the sensitive nature of the case. He said all court proceedings will be handled in Ashtabula County. The case also may also be presented to an Ashtabula County Grand Jury.

The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released within the next few days, Johnson said.

Hague has been judge of the Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court Juvenile and Probate Division since 1993. During the county commissioners’ budget meeting, one of his staff members he is planning to return to work after the first of the year.

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