No death penalty in Carlile slaying case
A Spokane judge pushed back the trial for the alleged triggerman in the December shooting death of Doug Carlile, as prosecutors dropped pursuit of the death penalty and requested more time to process items found at the scene.
“There are pieces of evidence that still need to be tested,” prosecuting attorney Larry Steinmetz told Judge Gregory Sypolt on Thursday. Sypolt called the case “extremely complicated,” with more than 200 pieces of physical evidence recovered in the investigation, before granting Steinmetz’s request to delay the trial to May.
Timothy Suckow was arrested in mid-January and charged with first-degree aggravated murder in Carlile’s death. Suckow, a convicted felon, was eligible to be sentenced to death if found guilty. The last Spokane County inmate executed was Woodrow Wilson Clark in 1946, according to state records.
Prosecutors had been given until Thursday to announce intentions to seek capital punishment, but Steinmetz said Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Tucker decided earlier this week he wouldn’t pursue the death penalty.
Among the items seized at Carlile’s South Hill residence Dec. 15 was a glove with traces of Suckow’s DNA, according to court documents. Investigators subsequently discovered firearms and an alleged checklist for the murder in a van Suckow is thought to have driven to the home the night of the shooting.
Searches of a co-worker’s home, Suckow’s Spokane Valley residence and a storage unit in his name have yielded multiple firearms and police gear, some of which was branded with the crest of the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office, according to court documents.
On Thursday, prosecutors also requested additional charges related to the discovered firearms, bringing the total number of criminal counts against Suckow to 11. His attorney, Thomas Kryzminski, said a trial delay would deprive his client of the right to a speedy trial and said the new allegations were being unjustly lumped in with the murder charge.
“I don’t see anything that (prosecutors) are suggesting now that could not have been done ahead of time,” Kryzminski said.
Steinmetz called the argument against delay a “tactical decision” and said he didn’t think the defense could be prepared to go to trial this month.
Suckow has been linked by investigators to a former business associate of Carlile, James Henrikson, who is in federal custody on firearms charges in North Dakota. Spokane investigators believe Suckow killed Carlile at Henrikson’s request, likely over debts Henrikson said the former Moses Lake resident owed him.
Federal authorities are looking into claims that Henrikson and his wife, Sarah Creveling, defrauded investors out of thousands of dollars in connection with oil and trucking companies he owned. Last month, attorneys moved to seize and sell property the couple owned north of Watford City, N.D., where federal authorities found guns Henrikson was prohibited from owning due to prior felony convictions.
Suckow remains in Spokane County Jail on $2 million bond. He pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday.