Jury Deliberation Continues in Henrikson Murder-for-Hire Trial

Courtesy: KHQ
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The fate of a Watford City man accused of hiring a hit man to kill two men is now in the hands of the Washington state jury.

Deliberation began Wednesday morning and is still going on. Yesterday, the 12 jury members were given more than 40 instructions and listened to closing arguments from the defense and prosecution.

Thirty-six-year-old James Henrikson is accused of hiring Timothy Suckow to kill former business partner Doug Carlile and former employee Kristopher Clarke.

Clarke disappeared in February of 2012. During the month long trial Suckow admitted to bludgeoning Clarke, cleaning up and burying his body in a state park for $20,000. Clarke's body hasn't been found.

Carlile was shot in his Spokane home on Dec. 15, 2013.

Investigators found DNA on a leather glove in Carlile's backyard that matched Suckow's.

Henrikson told investigators Carlile owed him nearly $1.9 million associated with an oil development firm based in the Bakken.

The defense team argued throughout the trial Suckow and co-defendent Robert Delao made up Henrikson's participation to avoid harsher punishment.

A key piece of evidence was a picture of Carlile found on Delao's cell phone. Delao previously testified the picture came from Henrikson. Phone records show Delao actually took the picture himself during a meeting with Carlile.

In closing arguments, the prosecution urged the jury to look at witness testimony, cell phone and business records, which the federal government says shows Henrikson to be a vindictive and dangerous criminal.

If convicted, Henrikson could face a life sentence on 11 indictments, including the murder-for-hire crimes and conspiracy to distribute heroin in North Dakota.