Man accused of fraud, terror in ND oil patch charged with murder for hire in Washington state

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FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office via The Bismarck Tribune shows James Henrikson, 34, of Watford City, N.D. Henrikson, a felon linked to fraud and terror in the North Dakota oil patch, was indicted Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, on charges he hired people to gun down a former business associate in Washington state and kill a former employee whose body has not been found. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office via The Bismarck Tribune, File)


FARGO, North Dakota — A felon accused of fraud and terror in the North Dakota oil patch will be transported to Washington state to face federal charges unsealed Wednesday that allege he ordered the killings of a business associate and one of his former trucking company employees.

James Henrikson, who has been jailed in North Dakota since January on illegal weapons charges, has been indicted on murder for hire charges in the deaths of Doug Carlile and Kristopher "K.C." Clarke. Henrikson could face the death penalty if convicted.

He appeared in court Wednesday in Bismarck wearing a black and white prison jumpsuit and wrist and leg restraints. He quietly answered the questions of a magistrate judge, who approved a request for both the U.S. Marshals Service and the Department of Homeland Security to transport him to Washington.

Public defender Chad McCabe said afterward that Henrikson will get a new lawyer in Spokane, Washington. He declined further comment.

The indictment comes nine months after Carlile, 63, was shot in the kitchen of his house in an upscale Spokane neighborhood after returning from church, and 2½ years after Clarke, 30, was last seen at Henrikson's North Dakota trucking company, Blackstone LLC. Clarke's body has never been found.

Henrikson, 36, formerly of Watford City, North Dakota, has told investigators that Carlile owed him nearly $1.9 million for their dealings in Kingdom Dynamics, an oil development firm.

The indictment accuses Henrikson of hiring Timothy Suckow, of Spokane, to commit the crimes. Suckow was charged in Spokane County Superior Court with first-degree murder in Carlile's death. Suckow's lawyer, Roger Peven of Spokane, did not immediately return a phone message to his office Wednesday.

The indictment also alleges that Henrikson conspired to kill three other people.

U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said Wednesday his office has filed a motion to dismiss the illegal weapons charges against Henrikson so that he can be transported to Spokane to face the charges in the indictment.

Henrikson also is part of a federal civil case in which he and his wife are being asked to turn over land in the oil patch and $640,000 in cash. That case alleges mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Authorities believe Henrikson and his wife executed a scheme to defraud various investors and individuals in states including North Dakota, Texas, Florida and Washington.

Henrikson has previous felony convictions for burglary, theft, eluding police and attempted assault.


Associated Press writer Blake Nicholson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed to this report.

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