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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Henrikson trial could be 3 years out

If federal prosecutors seek the death penalty for the man accused of masterminding a plot to murder a South Hill businessman and one of his former oil patch employees, the trial likely wouldn't begin until the tail end of 2017.

A report filed in support of a motion to continue the federal trial of James Henrikson, the man accused of ordering hits on Doug Carlile and Kristopher "K.C." Clarke, says federal capital cases take an average of three years from indictment to the commencement of trial. The report, prepared by Director of the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project Kevin McNally, was filed in support of a similar motion to delay the trial of accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

McNally examines 150 federal death penalty cases that have commenced since Jan. 1, 2004, to find that the average time between indictment and opening arguments in the cases was 36.5 months, or a little more than 3 years. The median amount of time was a tad less, at 32.6 months.

Henrikson was indicted Sept. 16. He had been in custody in North Dakota since January, facing a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He also faces potential fraud charges, according to court documents.

Henrikson's codefendants (Timothy Suckow, Todd Bates, Robert Delao, Lazaro Pesina and Robby Wahrer) have also been indicted in Spokane federal court. The next court date for Henrikson, involving a motion for prosecutors to provide discovery materials to defense attorneys, is scheduled for Nov. 4.

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