Skip to comments.Husband of nurse who strangled intruder charged with attempted murder
Posted on 09/15/2006 10:10:33 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
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.
Original story: Nurse strangled intruder with bare hands
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."
oops! t'warn't supposed to happen quite that way...
Wow. That's quite a story.
Ha! "Oops!" was exactly the word that occurred to me, too!
yep. good help is awfully hard to find these days, ain't it?
Well, I think we all know why the husband decided to hire a hitman instead of trying to do the job himself. Yikes...
That hubby ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Chances of the hired help getting away without leaving some evidence on the scene were slim-to-none in any event, and as soon as they got the employment connection hubby would have been toast.
He certainly doesn't LOOK very bright.
He's obviously a girly-man.
Good for her.
Luckily her husband is as intelligent as one would imagine a porn shop janitor to be, and he's thoughtfully provided the cops with enough evidence to ensure he'll die in prison.
The ending had me all choked up, and not alone in that. heh
Why did she marry this guy?
You know, I think a case could be made for felony murder here. Had this guy not committed the felony of hiring the decedent to commit murder, the decedent would not have become deceased.
I wonder what they had to clean up at a porn shop...
My uncle once told me "Everyone's entitled to one incredibly huge stupid-a$$ mistake in life as a freebie."
LOL If she puts her hands in her pockets, is that a concealed weapon violation? Good for Susan for defending herself but I'll bet she wishes it was her husband himself she had in her grip. That's OK, Bubba will do it for her now.
You do NOT want to know.
Porn shop janitor - that is certainly at the top of my list of least desirable jobs....Yech!
I'm thinking we give her five minutes in a closed cell with the guy and save the state a lot of money...
He clearly was an accomplice - not only did he instigate the crime and pay (or promise to pay) the assassin, he disarmed the security code at the crime scene.
I hope the prosecutor sees things our way.
Wow, this is unbelievable! This poor woman has been through a hellish ordeal and now this. I hope the authorities wil nail her husband and convict him.
The hit man had a day planner?
When this story broke a few days ago, we all commented on what a tough bird this gal is. I didn't realize how tough until I read that she is attending a conference just a few days after killing the perp with her bare hands. No grief counselor, no time on the couch, no heavy meds.
"Get this trash out of my house. I got a plane to catch."
shades of Dial M for Murder with Ray Milland.
Personally think that a nice double barrel shotgun with both barrels loaded would have worked better although cleanup would have taken a while.
Wow, I'm glad it did..Some ladies here kept a claw hammer under their bed for protection. Their murderer claw hammered them to death with it, then raped one of them...
Then, he asked a relative for a ride to the bus station, and went South of the Border..yes, he was here illegally.
I think those poor ladies should have had a gun.
. . . at least that's the law around here. They can get him for felony murder (of the hit man), attempted murder (of his wife), and solicitation of murder. And party to the crime of burglary . . .
I think he's looking at a long stretch.
That's a nice touch.
That's an interesting thread running through recent "dumb criminal" reports. Two weeks or so ago, a sports radio announcer/"talk radio personality" in New Orleans allegedly disguised himself before shooting his estranged wife to death in public.
Tipped off by a local gunshop and (my favorite part) another local shopkeeper who sold the guy a false moustache, police searched the suspect's FEMA trailer and found a *handwritten list*, from "Buy moustache" to "Get rid of gun". I guess he forgot to include "Destroy this list".
What a woman!
And 'they' say Oregon is boring!
Wow, this is like some Independent film noire, with M. Emmett Walsh in the role of the dumb husband.
Anyone seen Blood Simple?
F/u story on ER nurse strangling intruder Ping
Nurses often marry to 'help' or 'fix' someone who needs it. That's part of why they are nurses -- they want to help. That is compounded by patients (I don't know if he was one) who fall in love with their nurse.
Too stupid to remember what to do if it wasn't written down? And maybe he figured that no one would think that someone like him would have a day planner so it was safe to have one and write it all down.
No one says these cretins are bright.
Great movie and the remake with Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow was pretty good too. What was that one called?
The husband could not be convicted of felony murder in this case because there was no murder, which is an UNLAWFUL killing.
The wife's killing of her attacker was lawful because she was acting in self defense. Accordingly, there was no murder, and the husband cannot be convicted of felony murder. Or at least I think that's how it works.
No mention of where the late Mr. Haffey procured his chosen weapon from, stolen perhaps. Is a hammer buy back program in the works, Cash For Claws? What about mandatory registrations? I shudder to think how many hammers are out there. I see no reason for the average person to possess a hammer. I'm pretty sure the stats are on my side considering the number of self inflicted hammer injuries per year. One doesn't have to look far to see a purple thumb nail and without doubt for every purple thumb there are a few young ears that were exposed to vulgar expletives.
I say it's time for some hammer control and let the hammering be left to the professionals.
Can he be charged (in some way) with the death of the intruder, since he set the plot in motion?
The felony murder statute here includes any death caused by the underlying felony, regardless of the status of the homicide. It's the felony that makes it a murder, it doesn't have to be a murder under any other definition.
I love the way this lady took matters into her own hands and refused to give up without a fight.Her coward husband and his dead accomplice made the fatal mistake of underestimating her strength.
. . . and I do wonder what kind of woman would be married to a janitor at a porn shop. Maybe that's why he was "estranged."
As I understand the law a criminal can be charged with murder for the death of one of their accomplices during the commission of a crime even if they didn't do it themselves.
For example, Say two guys try to rob a bank. The security gaurd shoots and kills one of them while the other gets away in the car. When caught later the one who ran can be charged with murder because it would not have happened had he not committed the crime.
Any lawyers out there who can explain it better?