News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Tribal Members Plead Guilty To Involuntary Manslaughter For Stabbing Death In Fight

Lummi Tribal Members Face a Maximum Sentence of 8 Years in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2012

            Two Lummi Nation members who fought with a third Tribal member, stabbing him to death, pleaded guilty this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Seattle to involuntary manslaughter, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.   JOHNATHAN CASEY PHAIR, 24, and DEZI-REY THOMAS LOUIE, 22, pleaded guilty to the December 17, 2011, stabbing death of Lamar Felipe James at a home on Lummi Tribal land.  When sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones the men face up to eight years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for January 11, 2013.

            According to the plea agreements, LOUIE and PHAIR went to the home on Lummi Tribal land to purchase drugs.  LOUIE brought some electronics to the house to sell or exchange for drugs.  LOUIE met with James in a back room of the home.  The two men got into a physical fight.  PHAIR rushed into the room with a butcher knife and stabbed James multiple times.  One of the wounds severed an artery.  PHAIR and LOUIE ignored James’ serious wounds and failed to call for help.  Instead they fled the home and tried to conceal their guilt by burning their clothes and disposing of the knife.  PHAIR was arrested three days after the attack.  LOUIE was arrested on December 24, 2011.

            Under the terms of the plea agreement prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 40-54 months in prison for LOUIE and 60 months in prison for PHAIR.

            The case was investigated by the Lummi Police and the FBI.

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Susan Roe and J. Tate London.  M. Roe and Mr. London serve as Tribal Liaisons for the United States Attorney’s Office.

 

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