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Henrikson cellmate takes full blame for August ‘escape attempt’

The Spokane County Jail inmate who shared a cell with James Henrikson now claims an ill-fated escape attempt using a rope made of bedsheets was all his idea.

Bud Ray Brown, 33, admitted in a handwritten statement to “plotting an escape for some time before Henrickson ever became my cell mate.” The statement, written on notebook paper, was filed by Henrikson’s defense team Friday. Henrikson faces a January trial on allegations he masterminded murder-for-hire plots that left South Hill businessman Doug Carlile and North Dakota oil worker Kristopher “K.C.” Clarke dead.

Brown, who is being held on a gang-related murder charge, said he used a tile to smash the cell’s window, which is less than 5 inches wide, the night of Aug. 19. Brown didn’t tell Henrikson his plans before smashing the window, according to his statement.

“(Henrikson) told me he wished I would of brought it to his attention in previous days so he could of had a chance to move,” Brown wrote.

Brown said Henrikson pressed an emergency button and alerted guards after he smashed the window. But Brown used “a fake window I had made out of paper” to cover up his work, he said. His statement is dated Sept. 8.

The jail guard on duty told FBI investigators it appeared Henrikson and Brown were watching television from the door of their cell all night, according to a report contained in court records. She was alerted by radio to a rope made of bedsheets hanging from the cell around 4:30 a.m., according to the report.

Frank Harrill, an FBI spokesman, declined to comment on Brown’s statement, citing the upcoming trial.

Henrikson unexpectedly withdrew a guilty plea in the case in November. He faces a potential life sentence at a trial his attorneys are trying to move out of Eastern Washington, citing intense media coverage of the case. U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr., who is presiding over the case, previously granted a change of venue from Spokane to Richland.

A hearing is scheduled for later this month in Spokane to discuss moving the trial, which is tentatively scheduled to begin Jan. 25.

Brown is scheduled to go to trial in February for his alleged role in the 2012 slaying of David Brandon Deponte.


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