Police say Portland intruder strangled by nurse was a hit man
The estranged husband of a woman who strangled an intruder with her bare hands last week has been accused of hiring the intruder as part of a murder plot, Portland police said.
PORTLAND, Ore. – The estranged husband of a woman who strangled an intruder with her bare hands last week has been accused of hiring the intruder as part of a murder plot, Portland police said.
Michael James Kuhnhausen, 58, was charged Thursday with criminal conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.
Detectives said he helped disarm the security alarm at his wife's home on Sept. 6 and let Edward Haffey in. Haffey, armed with a claw hammer, then waited for Susan Kuhnhausen to arrive home from her nursing job.
Haffey struck her several times in the head, but Kuhnhausen managed to take the hammer away, according to a court affidavit obtained by The Oregonian newspaper. Kuhnhausen lost her grip on the weapon, and wrestled with Haffey. The intruder bit Kuhnhausen several times, and she bit back.
Finally, the 51-year-old woman was able to get on top of Haffey, and place him in a choke hold. She eventually choked the life out of him.
Portland police found the 59-year-old Haffey dead on the hallway floor.
Susan Kuhnhausen told homicide detectives that she believed her husband was involved, saying he was the only other person who knew the security code to the house alarm and there was no sign of forced entry. She also knew her husband had stopped by the house earlier that day because he left a note that said he was going to the beach.
Inside a backpack Haffey left at the scene was a day planner with "Call Mike, Get letter," scribbled on the week of Sept. 4, the affidavit said. Michael Kuhnhausen's cell phone number was jotted on the inside of a folder.
Detectives checked Haffey's background, discovering his lengthy prison terms for conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, and convictions for robbery and burglary. They also learned that he had worked as a custodian for the Fantasy Adult Video stores. Detectives talked to the company and found out that Michael Kuhnhausen was the supervisor for custodians, and had hired Haffey.
Kuhnhausen, who had no criminal record in Oregon, told detectives he had nothing to do with the attack against his wife. He was booked into jail early Thursday, and his next court date is Sept. 21.
Susan Kuhnhausen, who has been out of town attending a national Emergency Nurses Association conference, left the following message on her home voice mail: "I'm not able to answer all the calls that I've received. I'm being comforted by your concern and your support. I want you to know that our lives are all at risk for random acts, but more likely random acts of love will come your way than random acts of violence."
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