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Press Release

Lummi Nation Tribal Members Sentenced to Prison for Stabbing Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Men Fought Over Drugs

Two Lummi Nation members who fought with a third Tribal member, with one of them stabbing him to death, were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to prison terms for involuntary manslaughter, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  JOHNATHAN CASEY PHAIR, 25, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release, and DEZI-REY THOMAS LOUIE, 22, was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release.  The two pleaded guilty in September 2012 to the December 17, 2011, stabbing death of Lamar Felipe James at a home on Lummi Tribal land.  At today’s sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said, “This was a brutal and devastating crime.  And what caused both of you to be involved? Drugs.”

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.  PHAIR was arrested three days after the attack.  LOUIE was arrested on December 24, 2011.

The case was investigated by the Lummi Police and the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Susan Roe and J. Tate London.  Ms. Roe and Mr. London serve as Tribal Liaisons for the United States Attorney’s Office.

Updated March 24, 2015