Poisoning, shooting suspect to receive mental evaluation

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: November 29, 2011, 5:46 PM

 

The defense attorney of a Yacolt man accused of poisoning his girlfriend and then shooting her this month requested a mental evaluation to determine whether he’s competent to proceed.

Michael T. Boswell, 29, will be evaluated by Western State Hospital psychologists to determine whether he understands the allegations against him and can assist in his own defense.

His case will be reviewed Dec. 21. He is charged with first-degree attempted murder.

Boswell was arrested Nov. 14 after he allegedly shot his live-in girlfriend, Jessica Fix, at the house they share with Fix’s parents at 17605 N.E. Lucia Falls Road. Fix, 25, was shot in the head but managed to drive herself to the Battle Ground Fred Meyer, where friends took her to the hospital.

Her condition Tuesday wasn’t immediately available, but detectives have said her injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening.

Sheriff’s detectives investigating the case reportedly found evidence that Boswell may have laced Fix’s peppermint tea with high levels of acetaminophen; her liver was found to be failing.

Fix said Boswell was upset because she had met someone new at the Portland strip club where she dances and had said she wanted to end their relationship, according to court documents.

The day of the shooting, Fix said, she drank the tea and fell asleep, then woke to a sharp pain in her head. Boswell was lying next to her, holding a .22-caliber revolver, according to court documents. He told her he had tried to shoot himself and accidentally shot her.

At Boswell’s scheduled arraignment Tuesday morning, he received a new lawyer, Suzan Clark, in substitution of Todd Pascoe. Clark requested a 14-day evaluation of Boswell to be conducted either in the Clark County Jail or at Western State Hospital near Tacoma.

The evaluation puts the arraignment and other proceedings on hold until Boswell’s next hearing in December.