SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane man has been arrested in connection with the slaying of Spokane businessman Doug Carlile, who was shot by an intruder Dec. 15 at his home in an upscale South Hill neighborhood, police said Tuesday.
Timothy E. Suckow, 50, was arrested for investigation of first-degree murder. His bail was set at $2 million during an appearance Tuesday afternoon in Spokane County Superior Court.
Police Chief Frank Straub said Carlile had extensive business interests in the oil fields of North Dakota, and his slaying may be the result of a business dispute.
“We believe it is very possible this homicide is the result of those business transactions that went bad,” Straub said.
The investigation is on-going and may result in additional arrests, Straub said.
Carlile, 63, was confronted in the kitchen of his home and shot to death during an apparent home invasion, police said.
The shooting shocked residents of the well-to-do Rockwood neighborhood, and was immediately marked by police as unusual.
Carlile’s wife, Elberta, told police the couple had returned home the evening of Dec. 15 when an intruder confronted Carlile in the kitchen. Already upstairs, she returned to the kitchen, where she saw a white man she did not recognize, police have said. The man was clad in black, wearing a mask, gloves and pointing a gun at her husband, Elberta Carlile told police.
She ran upstairs as gunfire rang out. She called 911 and was found by police hiding in an upstairs closet. She said the couple had been married for 42 years and had six children and 20 grandchildren.
“He was a generous, loving, giving person,” Elberta Carlile said outside the courthouse on Tuesday. “Doug was a wonderful person.”
“There is a measure of comfort from knowing that justice will be done,” she said.
Straub praised detectives for solving the case in less than a month.
A key incident was finding a glove outside the Carlile house, Straub said. Suckow’s DNA turned up on the glove, he said. Also, a black ski mask was found in Suckow’s vehicle.
Spokane police are working with counterparts in North Dakota, and with federal investigators to pursue additional suspects, Straub said.
Court documents showed Carlile had complex business dealings in North Dakota, including with an associate named James Henrikson.
Henrikson was an investor in a company called Kingdom Dynamics that had mineral rights to 640 acres of land, documents said. Carlile owned 51 percent of Kingdom Dynamics, documents said.
Henrikson told Spokane Police Detective Mark Burbridge that Carlile owed him $1.88 million and that he was angry with the Spokane man, court documents said.
But Henrikson also told the detective that he did not kill Carlile or have anything to do with his death.
Suckow has a police record that includes serving time for burglary in the early 1980s, according to court documents. He also spent time in mental health institutions for issues including bipolar disorder, depression and substance abuse, according to court records.