Crime

Last defendant sentenced in 2010 Craigslist killing

It’s been five years since husband and father James Sanders was gunned down in his Edgewood home in front of his family for the sake of a piece of jewelry.

Friday, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Thomas Larkin sentenced the last of four defendants in what came to be known regionally as the Craigslist murder.

Clabon Terrel Berniard, 28, was sentenced to 97 years in prison for his role in the case. Earlier this year, he was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and first-degree burglary.

It’s the second time Berniard has been convicted and sentenced for those crimes. He was convicted originally in 2011, but the Washington State Court of Appeals overturned the verdicts, citing judicial errors.

Berniard and three others — Kiyoshi Higashi, Joshua Reese and Amanda Knight — were charged with invading the home of Sanders and his wife, Charlene, beating the couple and terrorizing their two sons in the midst of a burglary.

Higashi shot James Sanders, 43, when he fought with the intruders and tried to protect his family. Higashi, Reese and Knight were previously convicted and are serving long prison sentences.

Berniard had argued that he did not participate in the crime, but deputy prosecutors Greg Greer and Erica Eggertsen contended Berniard was at the scene and held a gun to the head of Charlene Sanders.

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