By Forum News Service
BISMARCK – A Watford City man with ties to a suspected murder-for-hire plot in Washington state has requested a new attorney to represent him on felony weapons charges here.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland issued an order Monday setting an April 21 hearing date on the request made by James Terry Henrikson.
Henrikson has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of felon in possession of a firearm and one count of felon in possession of ammunition.
A jury trial was originally scheduled to start last week in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, but Henrikson’s federal public defender filed a motion to suppress evidence seized from a safe in Henrikson’s home when it was searched by authorities on Jan. 20. Hovland granted the request, postponing the trial to allow for a hearing on the motion.
However, Henrikson, who is being held without bail at Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center in Rugby, claims his attorney filed the motion against his wishes.
In a handwritten motion dated March 30 and filed with the court Thursday, Henrikson stated that he had told public defender William Schmidt that he didn’t want him to file any motions that would conflict with his right to a speedy trial.
Schmidt wrote in his response that he explained to Henrikson in a March 31 phone conversation his reason for filing the motion to suppress, and that it was his understanding that Henrikson “was satisfied with the position I had taken.”
Schmidt acknowledged that Henrikson had said he wanted his trial to go forward April 1.
“However, based on my review of the discovery, the position taken by Mr. Henrikson relative to the access to the safe and the apparent lack of any fingerprints on the firearms that were seized from the safe warranted, in my opinion, filing of the motion to suppress,” Schmidt wrote.
Investigators have questioned Henrikson about the death of his estranged business partner, Doug Carlile, who was found shot to death by an armed intruder Dec. 15 in his Spokane, Wash., home, but haven’t charged him in the case.
One of Henrikson’s former employees who became a confidential informant told investigators that he acted as an intermediary in Henrikson’s hiring of Timothy Suckow to kill Carlile for $20,000, the Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper reported last month, citing court documents. Suckow is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in Carlile’s death.
Henrikson told a detective that he and Carlile had an oil lease together and that Carlile owed him $1.88 million, court documents state. Henrikson said he was very angry with Carlile and frustrated that Carlile didn’t pay people the money they were owed, but he denied ever threatening Carlile and said he didn’t kill him.