Bonney Lake resident charged with soliciting murder

Court news

Little could prepare Judith Carns when she received a letter from a Pierce County jail inmate.

The letter explained to Judith Carns that her husband, currently in custody with the unnamed inmate, attempted to hire him to kill Judith Carns and several other people.

After an investigation, Bonney Lake police officers discovered James Jacob Carns, 55, allegedly tried to hire the inmate to murder five people between May 13 and May 24.

The letter also explained the inmate kept all the notes, letters and information James Carns gave him during this time.

With five counts of criminal solicitation, James Carns is being held on $1 million bail.

Soliciting murder in the first degree is a Class A felony, punishable by a life sentence and/or a $50,000 fine.

Carns pleaded not guilty during his June 5 arraignment.

Planned out

According to Pierce County Superior Court records, Carns was already being held at the Pierce County jail for felony harassment charges against Bobby Holman and Dudley Baldwin.

According to court documents, the inmate and Carns would have conversations where Carns would get upset and frustrated.

The inmate told officers he eventually asked Carns what was wrong, which is when Carns asked the inmate to kill his wife and make all his problems go away.

At first, the inmate thought Carns was just angry, but was repeatedly asked if he could commit the murders and how much they would cost.

The inmate said Carns wanted to have Holman and Baldwin killed, along with two other men, all at the same time at Kingdom Hall.

“I will do what ever it takes to say goodbye to (them),” Carns wrote in a note to the inmate.

The plan laid out a specific time of day and day of the week when the men would all be together.

The inmate also said Carns wanted him to kidnap his wife and make her write checks to, “make it look like robbery plus finish the job so she doesn’t speak,” another Carn’s note stated.

Carns provided the inmate with extensive information on Judith Carns, including addresses, date of birth, social security number and maps of her house along with the addresses for the four men.

According to the inmate, James Carns offered him $30,000 for the job.

When questioned by officers, Carns said he offered the inmate money to move stuff in the house, which is why he provided the inmate with address of the house and the map.

Carns jury trail date is set for July 27.