The operator of an oil trucking firm was convicted on Thursday of orchestrating the killings of two business rivals competing for work in North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch, prosecutors said.
A jury in federal court in Richland, in southeastern Washington state, convicted James Henrikson of hiring a man to kill Kristopher “KC” Clarke in February 2012 in North Dakota and Douglas Carlile in December 2013 in Spokane, Washington.
Henrikson faces the possibility of life in prison when he is sentenced on May 24 in Spokane, they said.
Three men who prosecutors say arranged and carried out the contract killings, and pleaded guilty to a host of federal charges, testified at Henrikson’s trial, which began on Jan. 25.
The jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all ten counts of murder-for-hire and conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder-for-hire, and one count of conspiring to distribute heroin, after little more than a day of deliberations beginning on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington confirmed the guilty verdict but declined to comment.
Federal prosecutors used four weeks worth of witness testimony, as well as records of cellphone conversations, firearm purchases, and business documents to portray Henrikson as a vindictive businessman bent on subduing several people he viewed as an impediment to his enterprises.
Prosecutors argued that Henrikson wanted to kill Douglas Carlile, an investor who refused to give up his stake in an oil lease and that Carlile owed Henrikson money.
Henrikson told several of his trucking company employees that he was outraged by Clarke’s plans to start or join a competing trucking firm and that he had “betrayed his loyalty,” court documents said.
In September, Timothy Suckow, a man Henrikson hired to carry out the murders and paid $20,000, pleaded guilty to killing the two men, court documents show. Another man, Robert Delao, also pleaded guilty to helping to arrange Carlile’s murder by acting as a middleman between Henrikson and Suckow, among other charges.
A third man, Lazaro Pesina, who was at Carlile’s house when he was killed, pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering, court documents show.
Suckow faces up to 30 years in prison, Delao could be sentenced to 14-17 years, and Pesina could face 12 years.
Attorneys for Henrikson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Alistair Bell and Andrew Hay)
Jerry Falwell Jr has apologized to ‘everybody’ for bizarre yacht photo — and says mystery women is his wife’s assistant
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. says he has apologized to “everybody” after posting – then deleting – a disturbing photo showing him on a yacht with his arm around a woman he now says is his wife’s assistant, and in a state of undress that one of his students says would lead to a fine or expulsion.
Trump’s unhinged fans get even more detached from reality as his chances fade
A pandemic is spiraling out of control and Donald Trump's reaction is to roll his eyes and say, "It is what it is." Unsurprisingly, polling data shows that his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, is pulling ahead, not just in national polls, but in a number of battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida, none of which Trump can afford to lose. After all, the incumbent has nothing real to run on. The economy is the worst it's been since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Americans are losing health insurance by the millions, and Republicans are responding by trying to shortchange unemployment benefits for the millions of people who've lost their jobs.
Trump creates a ‘minefield’ of legal problems for his own staff with plan for White House acceptance speech: report
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he might deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House. But legal experts who spoke with Bloomberg warned that might not be a good idea.
The publication described the proposal as "a minefield of problems for the staff charged with putting such an event together."
The Hatch Act forbids the use of government property and employees for political activities. Although the president and vice president are exempted from the federal law, their staff at the White House could face repercussions.