Murder of James Sanders

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On April 28, 2010, James Sanders was fatally shot in Edgewood, Washington near Tacoma, while showing a diamond ring that was listed for sale in Craigslist.

Circumstances of death[edit]

Three men and a woman went to Sanders' house to inspect a diamond ring offered for sale on Craigslist. The suspects said by telephone that the ring was sought for a Mother's Day gift for a mother-in-law. The family was detained. When the suspects started to beat one of the children, the elder Sanders intervened and was fatally shot.[1][2][3][4]

Suspects and alleged crime spree[edit]

Based on tracing e-mailed information, four suspects were sought, Clabon Berniard, Joshua Reese, Kiyoshi Higashi, and Amanda Knight. Three were later apprehended near San Francisco, California (all except Bernaird) after they were found driving without a front license plate and a gun was found. Knight paid bail and was released before the suspects were linked with the crime. The suspects were featured on the America's Most Wanted television show. Knight later surrendered to police. Berniard also surrendered to police in Washington state. In court, they were charged with one count of first degree murder, two counts of robbery, two counts of assault, and one count of burglary. The suspects wept in court and entered not guilty pleas.[5][6] The Sanders ring was later retrieved at a San Francisco pawn shop.[7]

The four suspects were thought to be involved with a robbery after answering another Craigslist advertisement.[8] Knight was seen on video allegedly pawning items obtained during a Craigslist robbery in Lake Stevens, Washington.[9]



The wife of Sanders gave several interviews to the news media. She said that she “forgave” the arrested suspects.[10] Higashi’s father attended the funeral and expressed regret[11] as well as noting that his son will probably spend the rest of his life in prison.[12]


Subsequent to the killing, Craigslist posted additional warnings to their website. Craigslist-related murders have received much publicity with the media warning of the dangers of contact after online encounters.[13][14] Craiglist associated killings have occurred in Boston[15] and Minnesota.[16]

Suspects and trial[edit]

The four suspects were held on $2 million bail.[12]

In 2011, all four were convicted of numerous crimes, including first-degree murder, and received sentences of 71 to 124 years in prison.[17]


  1. ^ "Craigslist diamond ad leads to deadly home invasion, police say". CNN. May 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ Martinez, Edecio (May 10, 2010). "Craigslist Diamond Ring Ad Leads to Father's Murder in Home Invasion, Say Wash. State Cops". CBS News. 
  3. ^ (2010-05-05). "3 arrested in Craigslist home invasion murder | KTVB.COM Boise". Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post". Archived from the original on 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2012-11-10. [clarification needed]
  5. ^ (2010-05-10). "Craigslist murder suspects plead not guilty | Spokane". Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  6. ^ "Fugitives | Clabon Berniard | Capture". AMW. Archived from the original on 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Suspected Shooter In Craigslist Home Invasion Murder Identified - KCPQ". 2010-05-11. Archived from the original on 2012-03-03. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  8. ^ "Police: Killers wanted in second Craigslist home invasion". KOMO News. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  9. ^ "Video shows Craigslist murder suspect in action". KOMO News. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Hundreds Attend Memorial For Craigslist Murder Victim in Southernhusky's Kontainer". Kontain. Retrieved 2012-11-11. [clarification needed]
  12. ^ a b "$2 million bail for Craigslist murder suspects". KOMO News. May 10, 2010. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  13. ^ "Craigslist Diamond Murder: How to Protect Yourself - ABC News". 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  14. ^ "How to protect yourself when selling online - Business - Consumer news - ConsumerMan | NBC News". MSNBC. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  15. ^ "The 'Craigslist Murder' of Julissa Brisman". Daily News. New York. April 25, 2009. Archived from the original on September 19, 2009. 
  16. ^ [2] Archived May 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Clabon Berniard sentenced to 124 years for Craigslist murder, three others convicted in the case received sentences of between 71 and 124 years, KCPQ television news, September 9, 2011, archived from the original on September 7, 2012 [clarification needed]