Henrikson pleads guilty to murder for hire
By Neal A. Shipman
James Henrikson, a former Watford City resident and owner of an oilfield business in McKenzie County, who was scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 5, on 11 charges of murder for hire, murder conspiracy, solicitation and heroin dealing, has pleaded guilty in federal court in the state of Washington to murder for hire charges in the deaths of Kristopher Clarke and Doug Carlile.
Henrikson admitted in court documents to promising to pay $20,000 to Timothy Suckow to travel from Washington to North Dakota to kill Clarke in January 2012.
In a court document, Suckow admits to murdering Clarke in February of 2012, with a metal pipe to the head. Clarke’s body has never been found.
The documents also say Henrikson used Suckow and three other men to kill Doug Carlile in October of 2013. Carlile was killed in a home invasion in December of 2013.
Henrikson, a five-time convicted felon, was accused of murdering his former business partner, Doug Carlile, in December of 2013 in the state of Spokane, Wash., and for arranging the murder of Kristopher Clarke, one of his employees in North Dakota. Clarke has been missing since 2012. In addition, Henrikson was being charged with conspiring to murder Jay Wright, Jed McClure and Tim Scott.
Henrikson was arrested in January of 2015 in Mandan on a firearms charge after the FBI raided and seized multiple pistols, shotguns and a rifle from his Watford City home.
According to court records, though Henrikson did not physically kill Carlile, he contracted Timothy Suckow, 51, of Spokane, to do the dirty work for $20,000, according to a confidential informant from Spokane, who knew both Henrikson and Suckow.
Evidence suggests Suckow may have been hired to kill Carlile, with unpaid debts being the motivation for the contract killing. Hours after Carlile was murdered, Henrikson was questioned by authorities over the phone. He denied killing Carlile, but did mention that Carlile owed him nearly $2 million.
According to the Spokane Police Department reports, Carlile and Henrikson were introduced over two years ago, at which time they and two other men, John Wark and Bill Curtiss, all invested in two businesses in the oil fields of North Dakota.
One business, Bridgewater Energy, is a trucking company to haul water and oil from well sites. The other business is Kingdom Dynamics Enterprise, which is an oilfield development company.
Carlile recruited investors for Kingdom Dynamics in order to purchase mineral rights on 640 acres on the MHA Nations Reservation. Henrikson and his wife, Sarah Creveling, each invested a few hundred thousand dollars. Part of the deal was that Henrikson would receive $1.2 million after the oil field began producing in exchange for his original investment.
Suckow was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Jan. 14, for shooting Carlile to death in his Spokane home. Suckow was linked to the shooting through DNA samples on a glove left at the scene of the murder.
For months, investigators searched for the missing proof to link Henrikson to the murder, until a confidential informant, who worked for Henrikson, came forward.
According to the informant, Henrikson and Suckow exchanged numerous e-mails regarding the murder, pictures of Carlile and his home, and Henrikson supposedly wrote to Suckow that he wanted Carlile dead, “not just sucking through a straw.”
If found guilty of one of the two federal charges, Henrikson could face the death penalty or life in prison.
Prosecutors are requesting Henrikson serve 40 years in prison.