Family of Slain Man Attend Arraignment of Suspected Craigslist Killers
Grieving widow Charlene Sanders and her two sons went to court to see the arraignment of the accused murderers of their hero husband and father, Jim Sanders.
"There are consequences. I want them to pay those consequences," says Charlene.
The horrific case is being called the Craigslist killing. Jim Sanders had listed a diamond ring for sale on Craigslist for about $1,000.
Police say a woman and three men showed up on the pretext of buying the ring for Mother's Day.
"We were having family night and evil walked in the door," remembers Charlene.
Once inside the house, the gang pulled a gun and tied up Sanders, Charlene, and their two sons. Then they ransacked the house.
"My thought was, 'Oh God, don't let them kill me in front of my kids, and don't let them kill my kids.' I thought we were all going to die. I seriously thought we were all dead," Charlene tells INSIDE EDITION.
Then one of the gang put the gun to Charlene's head and started counting. "That was the scariest moment of my entire life when someone has a gun to your head and they're counting three, two, and you know when they get to one you're done," she says.
When the thugs started to pistol-whip Sanders's 14-year-old son Jimmy, according to court papers, the father "broke his hands free from the ties to try and defend his son."
He was shot three times.
"I saw him on the floor and he was all white and he was kind of gasping for air...I knew they had fatally wounded him because he just looked..." Charlene says.
Sanders died in his wife's arms.
The dead hero's brother and father tried to console each other at a packed memorial service at the family's church near Tacoma, Washington.
Sanders's son Jimmy Jr. spoke at the funeral. "Four evil people took my dad from me," he said.
Two days later, Charlene's relatives formed a support group for her and her children as they all headed to court for the arraignment of the accused killers.
Charlene watched from the front row as one after another, the three men pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery. The woman, allegedly shown in a surveillance photo pawning the Sanders's jewelry, was arraigned earlier on identical charges and pleaded not guilty.
"I'm glad I came but I'm just numb," Charlene said after court.
As she left the courtroom, she wore her husband's wedding ring around her neck. The ring had been ripped off Sanders's finger by the thieves and it was returned to Charlene by police.
"That's all l've got left is my ring," she said tearfully.
Sanders's mother Linda summed up the feelings of all of his loved ones: "I look at a picture that I have in our house now, it's really difficult to sit there and look at it and not miss him and want to touch him and hold him again and hear his voice," she told INSIDE EDITION.
The four suspects are in jail on first degree murder, robbery, and assault charges. They face roughly 70 years in prison if convicted of the charges.