A 91-year-old woman has been slain in her house in suburban Hazel Dell, and her son, a retired Portland, Ore., fire lieutenant, has been jailed for investigation of murder.

Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Timothy L. Bieber said Junette M. Gaul was found dead Wednesday afternoon by a relative who was checking on her welfare. On the floor next to the body was David Francis Gaul, 56, whom Bieber described as spattered with blood and so drunk he could barely stand.

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Gaul, the subject of a harassment lawsuit filed recently by his mother in Superior Court, was taken to a hospital to sober up. In his initial court appearance Thursday, bail was set at $750,000, and he remained in custody for investigation of first-degree murder pending arraignment on Jan. 11.

There was no immediate word on a motive or the manner in which Gaul's mother was attacked.

Gaul, who retired from the Fire Bureau in neighboring Portland in March, had a record of drunken driving arrests in Oregon, KGW Television reported Thursday. The station reported that he was in the Multnomah County jail in Portland as recently as Dec. 27.