Suspect in Avondale murder arrested in Vegas

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by Crystal Cruz and Catherine Holland

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 27 at 12:17 PM

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AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Police in Las Vegas have arrested the suspect in the murder of a 28-year-old mother who was found shot dead in her garage in Avondale Monday morning.

Donella Clauschee's grandfather, Buddy Morgan, said she was like a daughter to him.

"It's hard losing her," Morgan said. "She's the first granddaughter. We were so proud of her. We raised her."
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Police identified Clauschee's ex-boyfriend, Michael Hall, as first a person of interest and later the suspect in her death. He was arrested Tuesday morning in Las Vegas.

Vegas police, who had been alerted that Hall might be in their jurisdiction, spotted his 2002 red PT Cruiser in a parking lot at the Luxor Hotel at about 1 a.m. Tuesday. After about five hours of surveillance, officers arrested Hall as he walked back to the vehicle. It had been less than 24 hours since he allegedly shot and killed Clauschee.

Avondale police have not said anything about the tip that led them to believe Hall was in Las Vegas.

This all goes back to Monday morning, when, according to investigators, Clauschee was shot several times while she was putting her 4-year-old daughter in the car.

Neighbors heard the shots and called police.

The child was found alive, sitting in her car seat.

"The little girl was not harmed," Sgt. Brandon Busse said. "She is safe. She's actually in the care of our advocacy center to do a forensic interview to see if possibly she saw anything."

Avondale police said Clauschee recently broke up with Hall, 41, the father of her child. He moved out of their home not too long ago.

Investigators said the couple had domestic violence issues in the past.

Although Clauschee's family has not commented on Hall's arrest, they had plenty to say Monday night.

"I would like to say to the person that did this I wish you a happy Thanksgiving wherever you're at and I hope you die in hell," Morgan said.

The young mother spent her last night alive surrounded by family at a dinner.

Her brother, Jeremy Morgan, said she was happy and excited for the holidays.

"I just wish I could hold her, just kiss her and just tell her I love her," he said. "I miss her."

The child will be released to Clauschee's family.

"The little girl is essentially the victim in all of this," Busse said Tuesday morning. "She lost both of her parents in one single incident.

"We are extremely happy he [Hall] is off the streets and going to be brought to justice," Busse continued.

Detectives still do not know what might have motivated Hall to alleged shoot and kill the mother of his little girl.

Hall is awaiting extradition back to Arizona. At this point, there is no time line for that to happen.

"He's locked up. We have him in custody so he's not going anywhere," Busse said.

Hall will be booked on a variety of charges once he's back in Arizona.

Family to Avondale shooter: 'I hope you die in hell'

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