Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Second arrest in city slaying

Women accused of second-degree murder

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Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files 
Arthur Haussermann was found dead in his suite July 26. A fire in his kitchen may have been set in an attempt to hide evidence.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files Arthur Haussermann was found dead in his suite July 26. A fire in his kitchen may have been set in an attempt to hide evidence. Photo Store

A second woman has been charged in connection with the city's latest homicide.

Raven Desjarlais, 27, was arrested by Regina police Tuesday. She was returned to Winnipeg on Friday and charged with second-degree murder and arson with disregard for human life in connection with the homicide. A Canada-wide warrant had been issued for her arrest in the killing of Arthur Haussermann.

Haussermann, 53, was found inside his burning suite in the Holiday Tower South highrise on Hargrave Street early July 26. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition but could not be saved.

Police initially believed the fire caused his death, but an autopsy revealed he had suffered upper-body injuries prior to the apartment blaze.

Desjarlais was also charged under a warrant for an unrelated robbery. She remained in custody.

On Thursday, the Winnipeg Police Service announced its first arrest in the homicide.

Clarissa Dawn Ponace, 29, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder, arson with disregard for human life and breaching previous court orders, including probation.

Police said the victim and Ponace were "brief acquaintances" on the evening of his death.

No other details were provided about the relationship between Ponace and Haussermann or the circumstances of the homicide.

The fire may have been an attempt to cover up evidence, sources previously told the Winnipeg Free Press. The blaze was contained within the suite and caused $10,000 in damage.

Haussermann had an online presence -- including a profile on a dating website -- that formed part of the homicide investigation. Sources told the Free Press last week all aspects of the victim's life were being studied.

Police have previously issued public warnings about the dangers of meeting people online. Ponace previously lived in Saskatchewan and was charged with three counts of attempted murder after a 2008 shooting in Regina. Shots were fired into a vehicle, but no one was injured. It's not clear what became of the charges.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2014 A5

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