Vancouver woman pleads not guilty in vacuum cleaner beating
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A Hazel Dell woman was arraigned Wednesday on accusations that she severely beat her boyfriend with an unconventional type of deadly weapon: an upright plastic Dirt Devil vacuum.Michelle D. Hawn, 37, pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault. She remains in the Clark County Jail on $100,000 bail.Trial was set for Oct. 11.First-degree assault carries a minimum sentence of seven years and nine months in prison. Prosecutors filed a deadly weapon enhancement that could bring five more years of incarceration.She is accused of using the vacuum cleaner to beat her boyfriend during an argument Aug. 3.Todd D. Proetel, 41, suffered several blows to the head with the vacuum, which fractured his skull and the bones around his eyes, according to court documents. Proetel was rushed to Southwest Washington Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for several days. At one point, he was in critical condition.Still ‘pretty beat up’Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Duncan Hoss said Wednesday that Proetel was still “pretty beat up” but slowly recovering.Deputies had responded to Callaham’s Mobile Manor, 10804 N.E. Highway 99, where the couple lived, and found the Dirt Devil with blood on it, along with blood splatter on an orange bucket nearby. Proetel was unconscious.The responding deputy’s report said that Hawn ran to a neighbor’s house after the attack, crying and saying, “Todd beat me up.” However, Hoss wrote that after her arrest, “there were no outwardly visible signs of recent abuse” on Hawn’s face and body.