On Dec. 17, 2011, Dezi-Rey Thomas Louie, 22, and Jonathan Casey Phair, 25, both members of the Lummi nation, went to the home of Lamar Felipe James also on Lummi Tribal land. They were there to purchase drugs. Louie brought some electronics to sell or trade to James for some drugs. While there, Louie met with James in a back room of the home. During their conversation, they became angry and began to fight physically. Phair then ran into the room with a butcher knife and stabbed James a number of times. One of the stab wounds severed an artery. Neither of the men attempted to help James with his serious wounds, nor did they call for help. Rather, they fled the scene and burned their clothes to conceal their involvement in the crime.
Phair was arrested after the incident and Louie was arrested on Dec.4, 2011. At a hearing in September, 2012, both men pleaded guilty to the stabbing death of James in his home on Lummi tribal land.
The Lummi Nation is an ancient tribe, a self governing nation in the U.S. located in the northwest corner of Washington state and the southwest corner of Vancouver. (Lummi Nation website)
At the sentencing today, Jan. 11, 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones, Phair was sentenced to five years in prison and three years supervised release. Louie was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release.
At today’s sentencing Judge Jones said, “This was a brutal and devastating crime. And what caused both of you to be involved? Drugs.” (FBI press release)
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. (Ibid)
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Emily Langlie (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.