SPOKANE, Wash. – The man convicted in the murder-for-hire deaths of KC Clarke and Doug Carlile was sentenced to life in prison for count one, two and three of his eleven charges on Tuesday.
He was also sentenced to 10 years for counts four, five and six, as well as 20 years on counts seven and eight.
1. Count one: Murder-for- Hire for the death of KC Clarke,
2. Count two: Murder-for-Hire for the death of Doug Carlile.
3. Count three: Conspiracy to Commit Murder-for-hire for the death of Doug Carlile.
4. Count four: Conspiracy to Commit Murder-for-hire Jay Wright.
5. Count five: Conspiracy to Commit Murder-for-hire Jay Jed McClure.
6. Count six: Conspiracy to Commit Murder-for-hire Tim Scott.
7. Count seven: Solicitation to Commit Murder-for-Hire KC Clarke.
8. Count eight: Solicitation to Commit Murder-for-Hire Doug Carlile.
9. Count nine: Solicitation to Commit Murder-for-Hire Tim Scott.
10. Count ten: Solicitation to Commit Murder-for-hire Jed McClure.
11. Count eleven: Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin.
The former North Dakota businessman was found guilty of hiring Timothy Suckow and Robert Delao to carry out the murders of Clarke and Carlile.
In court on Tuesday, Judge Mendoza first discussed the amount of restitution Henrikson owes. It was set at $71,508.54.
Prosecutor Aine Ahmed followed and discussed a sentencing memorandum that moves the court for consecutive life sentences for Henrikson. Ahmed said the very least sentence Henrikson should receive is two consecutive life sentences plus 20 years.
“Just by sheer happenstance, Henrikson is not a serial killer,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed also said that several other people would be dead if other people had followed through with Henrikson’s murder plots. He said Carlile was so afraid in the weeks before his death, he used to check the windows every night in their home.
“He’s got a black heart. He’s heartless,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed then proceeded to talk about Henrikson’s escape attempt from the Spokane County Jail. He said Henrikson’s plan was to raid the U.S. Marshal’s van during transport, spray the van with lighter fluid and light it on fire.
Following Ahmed, Doug Carlile’s wife, Elberta Carlile, spoke to the court.
She began by thanking the court for everyone who brought the case to a point.
“It has been a long time coming,” said Carlile.
Carlile told the court there are no words that can describe the totality of her loss. She and Doug met when they were 16-year-olds and were married two weeks out of high school. The couple was married for 42 years.
“Our loss is great. My children don’t have their father to go to anymore,” said Carlile. “I don’t choose to focus on loss because it’s very painful, I’m going to live. I’m going to rise from these ashes.”
Carlile said that the first day she surely thought Henrikson felt her pain, but he did not. She said Henrikson does not have a heart and she believes he has never known real love.
Carlile then told the court that she chooses to forgive so that she can move forward.
“I ask the court that this person would never be set free to walk the earth,” said Carlile. “Who knows what more lives could be destroyed because of this person.” She asked that the court do the maximum sentence they can do.
Following Elberta Carlile, her daughter MeLainee McLain spoke to the court.
“I’ve never seen such greed and evil than what’s in James Henrikson,” said McLain.
McLain told the court that her mother is just now being able to live again. She also asked the court to give Henrikson the maximum sentence.
The Carlile’s son, Shane Carlile, spoke to the court following McLain.
“He has no business walking the earth again,” said Shane. “Lock him up and throw away the key.”
Shane said that everyone is in danger if Henrikson is set free.
Following Doug Carlile’s family, Henrikson’s defense attorney, Mark Vovos, addressed the court.
“I have heard from people in this case and it’s hard not to be moved,” said Vovos. “We’re attorneys, but we’re also human beings.”
Vovos said the trial was difficult and asked for a sentence other than mandatory life.
“Any sentence that’s imposed must be reasonable,” said Vovos.
Following Vovos, Henrikson walked to the podium to address the court.
“First of all, I’d like to thank the court,” Henrikson said. “I believe this should’ve been a death penalty case from the beginning,”
Then, Henrikson read a poem to the court. The poem was titled “When Lilacs Bloomed,” and was about watching an abortion.
Following the poem, he continued to talk about abortion. He referred to abortion versus the death penalty.
“They want to kill the innocent and save the criminals,” said Henrikson. “By abortion, America is instilling in people it’s okay to kill children…this is murder-for-hire.”
Henrikson followed by reading Psalm 127:1. He said the Psalm reminds him of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
He followed the Psalm by reading another poem. People in the courtroom started to appear restless as he continued to read.
Henrikson then began to ramble about marijuana being legal.
Many people began to shake their heads as Henrikson continued to speak. Judge Mendoza appeared to be confused, as well.
Henrikson followed with a third poem. During his time speaking, he never addressed his own crimes.
Judge Mendoza then said he disagreed to Henrikson's objection that he was not the leader or organizer.
"In regards to KC, you assisted in carrying his body according to testimony in this case," said Mendoza. "By all accounts, you had a good life. You had a wife that loved you, you had a business you were creating, you have a child."
Judge Mendoza also said Henrikson was someone that is bright and had potential to do good in the world. He then said he had evaluated the sentences for the other defendants in the case.
"This case is not about abortion, marijuana, drinking, the jail. This case is about you deciding to take the lives of people for greed," said Mendoza. "Your comments continue to show the court a complete lack of remorse."
The judge followed by saying that it is sad because Henrikson has to live with himself and then gave Henrikson his sentences.
Henrikson's attorneys then asked that he be placed somewhere on the West Coast so he can be close to his family. Judge Mendoza said he is not going to do that.