Where is James ‘Jim’ Huden now? Musician who killed Russell Douglas had a passionate affair with Peggy Sue Thomas

It was through Jim Huden's ill-fated romance with former beauty queen Peggy Sue Thomas that he found himself at the centre of Russell Douglas's murder case


                            Where is James ‘Jim’ Huden now? Musician who killed Russell Douglas had a passionate affair with Peggy Sue Thomas
Tahmoh Penikett plays Jim Huden in 'Circle of Deception' (Lifetime)

Jim Huden the man at the centre of the shocking Russel Douglas murder case, was a man that seemed to always lead a double life. In some cases this was a trait to be admired. After all Huden was a successful software developer who even sold a program to Microsoft and a very talented musician. He may not have hit the big time with his band, but clearly this was a man of many talents. Huden also led a double life romantically as well. He was involved with former beauty queen Peggy Sue Thomas while still married to his wife Jean. However under the pretext of travelling for his musical gigs, Huden continued to carry on his affair with Peggy. Peggy and Huden had already known each other for a while as they had both grown up on Whidbey Island. They lost touch over the years but reconnected at the funeral of a common friend, which is where their whirlwind romance began.

It was through this ill-fated romance that Huden found himself at the centre of the Douglas's murder. Due to Huden's proximity to Peggy, he heard Brenna Douglas, Peggy's friend and Douglas' wife, accusing Douglas of being emotionally abusive. This seems to have triggered Huden's own deep seated trauma. According to a friend and bandmate of Huden's Bill Hill, Huden confessed to Hill that he had killed Douglas as a proxy for his own abusive stepfather. However, Huden in the investigation surrounding the Douglas murder case never offered any reasons for his motive. Huden's skills at living a double life also came to the fore, when in the midst of the investigation of the Douglas murder case he went missing. However, he was finally found in Mexico where he had been going under the name of Jim Martin and making his living as a guitarist. Oddly he even gave interviews as Jim Martin the musician to newspapers in Mexico, even though he was a fugitive. 

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Other theories however claim that it wasn't simply Huden's trauma that led to Douglas's killing. Investigators feel and Huden's friend Bill also claimed that Huden had said that he had accomplices namely girlfriend Peggy and Brenna. The possible motive? The insurance money that resulted from Douglas's death could be split between them.

Huden was finally sentenced to an exceptional sentence of eighty years in prison, by a jury in Island County Superior Court, largely due to the information his friend and band member Bill Hill brought forward. However, Huden never implicated either Peggy nor Brenna Douglas. The prosecutor even offered Huden a plea bargain if he would explain Peggy’s alleged role in the murder, but he never said anything against her.

Last reports on Huden suggest that he was in custody at Coupeville County Jail and will not be eligible for parole until 2085.

The Russel Douglas murder case is central to the plot of 'Circle of Deception' which premieres on Lifetime Saturday, March 6, 8 pm ET/PT.

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