PORTLAND, Ore. (NEWSCHANNEL) -- An Oregon man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday after hiring another man to kill his wife.
Susan Kuhnhausen fought off the hit man and actually strangled the attacker with her bare hands killing him.
In September 2006, Susan found an intruder in her southeast Portland home.
"I saw a man step out of the shadows and he began to hit me in the head and the face with a hammer," said Kuhnhausen.
For the first time publicly, she described how, fearing for her life, she fought back.
"I got the hammer and started hitting him with the hammer several times. My father, the carpenter, always taught me a hammer could be used for self defense -- the claw end would work the best," said Kuhnhausen.
The attacker was Ed Haffey, a drug addict who it turned out was hired by Michael Kuhnhausen to kill Susan.
"I yelled: 'who sent you here? Yelled again, 'who sent you here?'" Kuhnhausen said in court.
The plan failed as the emergency room nurse relied on her hospital self-defense training and began to bite, hit and choke Haffey.
"He turned blue as I told him you're not going to kill me." said Kuhnhausen.
Instead, she killed Haffey.
Police later found notes in Haffey's backpack linking him to Michael Kuhnhausen.
Susan called it a cowardly plan.
"If I ever believed you deserved to be dead, I would at least have had the balls to kill you myself," declared Kuhnhausen.
"I hurt a lot of people over the last year and I'm sorry. That's all I can say, I'm sorry," said Michael Kuhnhausen.
After laughing at that statement, Susan Kuhnhausen began to cry.
She was grateful her former husband apologized but she was also happy to know he too is suffering.
Michael Kuhnhausen pled guilty to soliciting to commit aggravated murder last month and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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