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Hooper Bay man charged with woman's murder

Posted: March 27, 2013 - 11:14pm

ANCHORAGE — A Hooper Bay man was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in the beating death of his girlfriend in the western Alaska village.

David Hoelscher, 33, was arrested Tuesday in the death of Pauline Mann, 27.

Hoelscher and Mann were in a relationship and had two daughters, prosecutors said. Both girls were inside the home when Mann died, according to an affidavit by Alaska State Trooper R. Bressler.

The older girl, a 9-year-old identified as S.H. in the affidavit, said Hoelscher became angry at Mann late Sunday, accusing her of doing a “bad word” while she was in Anchorage. The girl said her father began pulling her mother’s hair, and punched and kicked her.

The girl said her mother was not breathing Monday morning, and her hands and feet were cold.

The affidavit says Hoelscher walked into the village police office that afternoon and said, “I think I did something bad last night when I was drunk,” and, “I think I might have killed my honey.”

Village Public Safety Officer James Hoelscher went to the home and saw Mann through the window. The officer said David Hoelscher is a distant relative.

According to the affidavit, the officer forced his way inside and found Mann dead on a bed, a 2-inch religious cross on top of her shirt and two large clumps of black hair on the floor. Mann was covered with numerous red and purple bruises, Bressler wrote.

There was a softball-size clump of black hair in a cardboard trash box in the bathroom, the affidavit states.

David Hoelscher told authorities he and Mann were drinking homebrew late Sunday and he got mad at her “because she cheated on him while she was in Anchorage,” the affidavit says. He said he grabbed Mann by the hair and threw her around the house, punching her numerous times on her face and body.

“David also stated that while she was on the ground by the bed he stomped on her stomach and that’s when he thinks he killed her,” the trooper wrote. “David stated he stomped with enough force to break a 2x4 piece of lumber.”

Hoelscher went to sleep on the couch and when he woke up, the 9-year-old girl and her 2-year-old sister were crying next to Mann, according to the affidavit. Hoelscher told authorities Mann was not breathing and she felt cold to the touch. He said put her on the bed and that the older girl put the cross on Mann’s chest.

Hoelscher said he then sent the girls to their grandparents’ home and he went to the public safety office.

Mann’s body was being sent to Anchorage for an autopsy by the state medical examiner’s office.

Hoelscher was in custody at the hub town of Bethel, 160 miles southeast of Hooper Bay. A state court website did not immediately list an attorney for Hoelscher, who was set for a court hearing Wednesday afternoon.

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