Man in 'hit man' case says he is innocent

Man in 'hit man' case says he is innocent »Play Video
PORTLAND, Ore. - The man police say hired an ex-convict to kill his estranged wife appeared before a judge Tuesday, and the judge tripled his bail to $2 million in order to keep him locked up until a December trial date.

Michael Kuhnhausen is accused of hiring Dalton Haffey, a convicted felon with a long record, to kill his estranged wife, 51-year-old Susan Kuhnhausen.

But the alleged plan went awry when Susan Kuhnhausen was able to overpower Haffey, whom she encountered in her home on September 6.

Police say Kuhnhausen was able to get a hammer away from Haffey and then strangled him to death in her home.

She suffered only minor injuries.

At first, police thought the crime was a simple home burglary with an unlikely outcome, but tips then led them to Michael Kuhnhausen, and items in his backpack, including a day planner with notes regarding Haffey, led police to widen the investigation.

While being led from the courtroom, Michael Kuhnhausen told reporters that he was not guilty.

The judge reportedly raised Kuhnhausen's bail to $2 million in order protect Susan Kuhnhausen, and also because he had learned Michael Kuhnhausen's son reportedly had attempted raise bail funds from his grandfather, who is 94.

The case is expected to go to trial in December.