Yacolt man pleads not guilty to poisoning, shooting girlfriend

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: February 29, 2012, 6:40 PM

 

A Yacolt man accused of poisoning and shooting his girlfriend in November pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an attempted murder charge.

Following an evaluation that found him mentally competent to proceed to trial, Michael T. Boswell, 29, was arraigned on Wednesday. Trial was set for July 16.

He is accused of trying to kill Jessica Fix, 25, because he was upset that she met a new man at the Portland strip club where she works, according to court documents. Sheriff’s investigators allege he first prepared her a cup of peppermint tea that may have been laced with toxic levels of acetaminophen and then shot her in the head as she slept the morning of Nov. 14.

The shooting occurred at the Yacolt home Boswell shared with Fix and her parents.

Fix, 25, managed to drive herself to the Battle Ground Fred Meyer, where she met friends who took her to the hospital.

Detectives have said her injuries were not life-threatening; however, her liver was found to be failing because of the acetaminophen. Her current condition wasn’t immediately available.

In an interview with detectives, Boswell said he had tried to commit suicide as he was lying on the couch next to her, but the gun accidentally went off, according to court documents.

He said he had loaded the handgun and lay down on the couch next to Fix, resting on his left elbow with the gun in his left hand, according to court records. That’s when, according to Boswell, his shoulder gave out and his arm fell and the gun discharged.

His defense attorney, Suzan Clark, requested that Boswell be evaluated at Western State Hospital to determine whether he was competent to assist in his own defense. He was evaluated and found to be fit for trial.