Suspect in Spokane murder-for-hire plot files bonanza of legal p - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Suspect in Spokane murder-for-hire plot files bonanza of legal paperwork, asks court to ban phrase "overwhelming evidence"

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Henrikson's home in North Dakota Henrikson's home in North Dakota
James Henrikson's business office in North Dakota James Henrikson's business office in North Dakota
 The North Dakota man accused of hiring a hitman to kill his former business partner in Spokane just filed a bonanza of legal paperwork. On Tuesday James Henrikson filed more than a dozen motions, totaling nearly a thousand pages.

Henrikson is facing multiple counts for all of the following charges: Murder-for-hire, Conspiracy to Commit Murder-for-Hire and Solicitation to Commit Murder-for-Hire. Douglas Carlile was killed on December 15, 2013 in his South Hill home shortly after he and his wife returned from church. Carlile reportedly owed Henrikson money from business dealings in North Dakota. Prosecutors say Timothy Suckow was hired to kill Carlile and was waiting inside the Carlile home for the couple to return. Prosecutors believe Suckow shot and killed Carlile while his wife ran upstairs and called police.

Henrikson is also charged with murder for hire in the death of Kristopher "K.C." Clarke who was last seen 2 1/2 years ago at Henrikson's trucking company.  Henrikson's also charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin. He last lived in Watford City, North Dakota.

Henrikson was indicted nine months after the murder took place. He's been in the Spokane County Jail ever since.

On Tuesday, June 23, lawyers for Henrikson filed a slew of paperwork. One of the items was a motion to suppress all evidence seized from the search of his home and business in North Dakota on January 14, 2014. His lawyers say the searches were unconstitutional because the warrants were overboard. In the motion they write, "the purpose of a warrant is to make general searches impossible. The warrant musts set out objective standards by which officers can differentiate items subject to seizure from those which are not. Nothing should be left to the officer's discretion."

The warrants in this case were to find evidence for alleged violations of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The motion went on to say "mere suspicion is not enough to generate probable cause. Here, the affidavit for a search  warrant on January 14, 2014, based on activities years before, contain no specificity or tie-in with anything at the residence because of the lack of specificity in the search warrant of the residence or anything that would be found there. Any items, including Cell Phones, as a Result of the search of January 14, 2014, Were Fruits of the Poisonous Tree and Should be Suppressed."

Henrikson's lawyers also issued a motion to exclude expert witnesses from testifying, specifically citing two experts on cell site analysis. As part of their case against Henrikson law enforcement used tracking from cell towers to find a connection between Henrikson and Suckow. Henrikson's defense says "There  is nothing to qualify them as experts, and the defense is not aware of their qualifications or experience to allow them to testify to an expert opinion per se, and their using any theory, methodology or technique in rendering such an opinion."

Another motion describes Henrikson's desire for a fair trial. To that end, his lawyers ask that the court be prohibited from the following:
  • Using phrase "overwhelming evidence"
  • Using the phrase "we know" because it blurs the line between truth and speculation
  • Urging a conviction to protect the community
  • Calling the defendant's case a sham
  • Telling the jury it's "their duty" to return a guilty verdict

He also wants to make sure prosecutors don't arbitrarily characterize him as "sinister, dangerous, or undesirable".

Henrikson also wants one of the 11 indictments against him "severed".

These are the indictments Henrikson is facing:
  • Count 1: Murder for Hire (Kristopher Clarke)
  • Count 2: Murder for Hire (Douglas Carlile)
  • Count 3: Conspiracy to Commit Murder for Hire (Douglas Carlile)
  • Count 4: Conspiracy to Commit Murder for Hire (Jay Wright)
  • Count 5: Conspiracy to Commit Murder for Hire (Jed McClure)
  • Count 6: Conspiracy to Commit Murder for Hire (Tim Scott)
  • Count 7: Solicitation to Commit Murder for Hire (Kristopher Clarke)
  • Count 8: Solicitation to Commit Murder for Hire (Douglas Carlile)
  • Count 9: Solicitation to Commit Murder for Hire (Tim Scott)
  • Count 10: Solicitation to Commit Murder for Hire (Jed McClure)
  • Count 11: Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin

Henrikson's lawyers want count 11 (conspiracy to distribute heroin) off the indictment list. They argue it has nothing to do with the other counts and say "this charge is added simply to prejudice the defendants, and, ultimately, impair Mr. Henrikson's right to a fair trial."

The court docs also want to limit the testimony of Henrikson's former wife, Sarah Creveling. The two were married August 16, 2011 and, according to the court docs, became unmarried sometime in 2014. Henrikson's defense team argues that anything said between the two of them should count as marital communications privileges and be barred from trial even though the two are no longer married.

Finally, Henrikson wants to make sure none of his past offenses are brought up. Those convictions include 5 felonies and 3 misdemeanors ranging from driving on a suspended license to first degree theft. His attorneys argue the convictions have no bearing on the charges he's currently facing.  

Henrikson is scheduled to go to trial October 6. He faces life in prison if convicted on the charges he's facing.



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