Suspected contract killer Tim Suchow is heading to Spokane Superior Court this week in the hopes of avoiding facing the death penalty.
Suckow, the man who allegedly shot South Hill businessman Doug Carlile inside his home in December wants to slow down the decision making process that could put him on death row if convicted.
Two weeks ago, Washington Governor Jay Inslee stopped executions in Washington state, but he did not stop Spokane County's right to pursue the death penalty. Also, Gov. Inslee's term in office could possibly be over before Suckow makes it to death row, so his public defender is trying to safeguard Suckow's welfare well into the future.
So far however, Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker has not said whether or not he intends to seek the death penalty against Suckow, so his defense attorney, Tom Krzyminski, is working to give prosecutors a list of reasons why he doesn't deserve to face capital punishment.
Because Suckow allegedly killed Carlile to turn a profit, Suckow was charged with aggravated murder, which makes him eligible for the death penalty.
"The state has 30 days from the date of arraignment to give notice whether or not it will seek the death penalty," private defense attorney Chris Bugbee said. "During those 30 days it's necessary for a criminal defense attorney to file what's called a mitigation package."
Suckow was arraigned on January 28, so this coming Wednesday Krzyminski will ask for a continuance to give the public defender more time to complete the mitigation package.
"It lays out the defendant's social history and it makes arguments that there are mitigating circumstances that prosecutors should take into consideration when they make that decision," Bugbee said.
Krzyminski was not available to comment on this story so KXLY contacted Bugbee, who has experience in these types of cases. Bugbee was previously appointed to represent another aggravated murder defendant, Cole Strandberg, whose host of mental problems kept him off of death row.
Suckow was taking his mental health medications at the time of the Carlile murder and that could be a mitigating circumstance. Another mitigating circumstance would be if Suckow were to decide to cooperate with investigators and implicate his alleged accomplices in the murder-for-hire scheme.
Krzyminski wants to keep him out of solitary confinement on death row not to just spare his life but improve his quality of life behind bars.
"There is no question that the conditions in which those inmates on death row live is much worse than somebody who gets life in prison," Bugbee said.
While Krzyminski is working to prepare his mitigation package to present on Wednesday, prosecutors will also reach out to Doug Carlile's family to get their feedback on the case.