By Edward Snook
Okanogan County, WA – “We’ve been ambushed” was the simple one line text message Angela Nobilis reports to have sent to the owner of the vehicle she and James “Strat” Faire were driving. The text was sent when they got to the Junction, an area they knew had cell coverage, unlike where they had previously been on East Sourdough Road. It was at this time that Faire, from another phone, dialed 911 to report that they had been attacked by a 300-plus lb. man with a chain.
According to Nobilis, she and Faire were shaken to the core by being violently confronted just minutes earlier by a group of people, one with a chain, at a place they thought was safe; a place where they had, by invitation, stored many of their belongings; a place they had desperately tried to flee from, for their lives.
As they waited at the Junction, Nobilis gave Faire the last hug she has been able to give her soul-mate to date.
Moments later a Tonasket police officer arrived on the scene who immediately asked for their IDs. Nobilis recalls, “he began asking more questions and both James and I requested an attorney, because we’ve both heard of bad dealings with law enforcement before. The officer asked both of us to stand with our backs to the South facing wall of the Junction. At this time, I was still of the mind-set that we would be going home soon; that we were waiting for an Okanogan sheriff to arrive, take our statement and let us be on our way.” But, that isn’t what happened.
When the Sheriff’s Deputy arrived, he informed Faire and Nobilis that someone had died up on Sourdough Road, and that they would be taken into custody. They were read their Miranda rights and both invoked their right to remain silent.
“James and I sat silently as we traveled together in the back of the Sheriff’s Deputy’s SUV to the Okanogan County Courthouse. I’m guessing the trip was about 35 miles. I tried to make eye contact with James for some sort of reassurance. He was stoic, I imagine as scared and concerned as I was. Finally, he whispered an ‘I love you’ and I responded back. Those would be our last words to each other,” Nobilis sorrowfully remembers of that night.
It would later be learned that the deceased was 52 year-old Debra L. Long. She had been run over and was found lying in the driveway. George Abrantes, the 48 year-old behemoth who, by all accounts, assailed Faire and Nobilis with expletives and the chain, had apparently also been injured when Faire tried to get away from being attacked.
Faire and Nobilis were subsequently charged with Murder, Assault, Trespass, and Theft. Nobilis’ Murder and Assault charges were dropped days later. In defense of law enforcement investigating, they interviewed witnesses at the scene who gave statements that were in great part well-rehearsed and believable — some of which were out-right lies. The small group of “insiders” who provided “false or unknowingly fabricated information” to the police consisted of Richard Finegold, Ruth Brooks, Michael St. Pierre, and George Abrantes. I should stress at this point that not all insider witnesses were completely privy to the sophisticated plans of none other than Debra Long, the deceased, and her cohorts.
During the US~Observer investigation into what we can only classify as an obvious self-defense accident, we have unearthed a web of deceit spun by Long, for her own personal gain, and it proves beyond doubt that what was told to police by the “insiders” was deceptive and conspired.
The common denominator in this whole case is Michele St. Pierre, a friend of all involved. Michele died of cancer on June 15, 2015. Michele had been living with Richard Finegold, who is the registered owner of the Sourdough Road property (located in North Central Washington) where this incident took place. Michele and Richard had moved to one of Michele’s properties located in Stanwood, WA (Western Washington State), as her cancer escalated, but had lived together at the Sourdough property on and off during the preceding three years. According to witnesses, Faire and Nobilis had been storing their belongings at, and taking care of, the Sourdough property during the months leading up to this incident.
George Abrantes, a renter at Michele’s Stanwood property, traveled to the Sourdough property for the confrontation with Faire and Nobilis on June 18, 2015, as did Michael St. Pierre (Michele’s brother), and Ruth Brooks, Michele’s longtime friend. Most witnesses I have spoken to, who knew Michele St. Pierre and Richard Finegold, considered them a couple and most thought that they jointly owned their various properties.
Faire and Nobilis had been personal friends with Michele and Richard for at least 4–5 years according to witnesses, although they had known Faire for much longer than that. Faire had been doing maintenance on St. Pierre’s and Finegold’s properties, while Angela cooked, cleaned, and attended to her terminally ill friend Michele, when Michele was at her Stanwood property. Given the destitution they found when they arrived for a visit last February, Nobilis started a fund-raising campaign for Michele and Richard while they were dealing with Michele’s illness.
Murder or Accident?
After Michele’s death, Faire and Nobilis notified Finegold and Debra Long that they would be traveling to the Sourdough property to pick up their belongings. Even though Michele St. Pierre had already died, Long intentionally withheld this information from Faire and Nobilis.
Upon arriving James Faire got out of his truck and when he saw 300-plus lb. George Abrantes coming at him with a chain, yelling obscenities, James drew the pistol he carried with him and held it at “low-ready” for a moment. According to an eye witness James was able to holster his gun and get back into his truck before being struck by the chain. After the incident, insider witnesses made it clear to police that the insiders intended to keep Faire and Nobilis from leaving the Sourdough property under the deception they were trespassing and committing theft.
The police reports in this case make it quite clear that James Faire was attempting to leave the property after being attacked by Abrantes, who was wielding a quite dangerous weapon, a heavy chain. Since when does attempting to avoid an Assault become a crime? When does attempting to protect yourself and your family become Murder?
The police report quotes insider Michael St Pierre, “Everyone was yelling at James. George especially was yelling at James. George started banging on the window with the chain with the lock on it and broke the window.” The police reports go on to state that the truck had been struck by the chain and a “side mirror was shattered.”
Insider Witnesses Controlled by Debra Long
It is obvious from reading the police reports that most, if not all “insider” witnesses thought that Debra Long was an attorney. Ruth Brooks stated to police that Debra Long “owned her own law firm.” The police report continues to quote Brooks, “Debra was the most knowledgeable of all of them. Debra had suggested that they (meaning herself and the insider witnesses) come and secure the property… and move Angela and Strat’s (James’) belongings out of the house onto the porch or someplace that they could be notified to come and get them.”
Just prior to Faire and Nobilis arriving at the Sourdough property Long’s plans apparently changed. She instructed the insiders with her to move their vehicles out of sight. Long was obviously preparing her ambush. According to police reports, as soon as Faire and Nobilis arrived, Long instructed Richard Finegold to go next door and call the police. Long and George then waited until Faire pulled completely into the driveway before she and George rushed Faire and Nobilis.
The Unassociated Witness
The only unbiased eyewitness at the scene of this accident was 60 year-old Boyd McPherson. McPherson lived at the same private trailer park in Lake Stevens, WA as Faire and Nobilis and was hired the morning of June 18th by Faire to travel to the Sourdough property to help the couple haul their property back to Lake Stevens. According to McPherson, he had only spoken to Faire and Nobilis a couple times and really didn’t know them.
McPherson stated, “Immediately when Jim’s vehicle stopped after entering the driveway, two people aggressively, I mean aggressively came to Jim’s side of the truck. Jim had stepped out of the truck and he stated that he was just there to get their belongings and leave. Jim was very calm but he also had a very serious look on his face. Jim holstered his gun and he was able to get into the truck. He showed extreme discipline to be able to do that.”
McPherson continued, “the heavy guy [George Abrantes] started hitting Jim’s door with the chain and I saw the mirror shatter and the window flex. Jim backed his truck up. The guy [George Abrantes] and the gal [Debra Long] then went to the front of the vehicle and directed their attention towards the passenger [Angela Nobilis]. They continued yelling threats and obscenities. The gal in the orange shirt [Debra Long] literally tried to tie her shirt to the grill of the truck to prevent Jim from leaving. Jim continued to back up. At about that time another individual [Michael St. Pierre] came running out of the house and towards the back of Jim’s truck, screaming accusations and vulgarities. Jim could back up no further, so he made a fairly aggressive move to the right to avoid people and was able to exit the driveway. We didn’t have any cellphone reception, so we drove to a convenience store on the main highway and spoke to each other. Jim then called 911.”
The Set Up
In early 2014, Debra Long enters the picture and “takes control over those living with Michele and Richard.” One witness states, “Debra had total control over Richard, and George listened to and obeyed Debra like a puppy dog.” Why? Why did Long, who was with Michele under the “guise” of helping her deal with the legalities of her properties before her death, plant seeds of distrust regarding James Faire and Angela Nobilis. According to most all witnesses, it was Long who continually fueled the fire of hatred towards Faire and Nobilis regarding the GoFundMe fund raising. Further, it was Debra Long who planted the idea with Richard Finegold that Faire and Nobilis were “out to get” Finegold’s Sourdough property. The old saying, “the proof is in the pudding” certainly proved to be true when I discovered that Debra Long, working with her “live-in boyfriend” Michael Fritch of Loomis, CA, created a trust called the Maple Road Holding Trust, which named Fritch as Trustee.
A look into public records shows that the two properties owned by Michele St. Pierre were transferred to Michael Fritch. For additional first-hand facts on the “Set Up” read the sensational companion article to this one titled, “The Conspiracy to Frame James Faire – The Power of ‘Trust’” located on the front page of this edition.
Richard Finegold Deceives Police
On June 17, 2015, Finegold filed a Trespassing and Theft report with police against Faire and Nobilis for their operation of a GoFundMe site they had set up for Michele and for trespassing on Finegold’s Sourdough property. Finegold’s attempt was directed by Debra Long and occurred just one evening prior to Long getting run over. In the police report Finegold stated that he, “really doesn’t know that much about James and Angela,” however, numerous witnesses and many emails between them paint a much different picture. Richard told police, “I have been away since September 2014.”
Emails from Michele to Angela and Strat in September of 2014 state, “Dear Angel and Strat – Thanks so much for watching out for our property…Love you so much and miss you terribly and home (Sourdough property) as well.” Michele then refers to a trip Richard plans on making to Sourdough – “Don’t know if you can hook up but I know Richard would love to see you.” Does this sound like Richard “really doesn’t know that much about James and Angela,” as he told police on June 17, 2015? Or, does this sound exactly like it was — that Richard had been indoctrinated by Debra and he was out to get James and Angela by lying to the police. James and Angela had many of their belongings, including a dump truck and trailer at the Sourdough property and they had both Michele’s and Richard’s permission to do so.
According to one witness, “Richard and James used to go shooting together and James gave him instructions for free.” James Faire is well known for his firearms training abilities and his love of the sport. Obviously, the two couples knew each other very well and were in fact friends long before this incident occurred. I am in possession of emails and other documents that clearly prove that Faire and Nobilis had carte blanche permission to not only store their possessions at Sourdough, but to stay there if they needed to.
Innocent Man Jailed For Over Two Months
On July 9, 2015, I spoke with Sheriff Rogers, in response to his interview with local TV stations, made public shortly after the incident. Rogers had claimed that Faire and Nobilis were “squatters” and that Debra Long had been murdered. I told him he was very mistaken and why. He was cordial and turned me over to Chief Deputy Brown.
On July 15, 2015, Deputy Brown called and I gave him more than enough evidence to conclude Faire’s innocence. He took notes and told me he would deliver the notes and my phone number to Detective Sloan. I have not had any further contact with law enforcement in Okanogan County; however I have received reports that they have been actively investigating this case. On the downside, the two main witnesses I gave to Deputy Brown, who have complete knowledge of this case, have not been contacted by law enforcement yet. And still, James Faire sits in his cell at the Okanogan County Jail.
On July 23, 2015, I wrote a letter to Okanogan Prosecutor Karl Sloan (Detective Sloan’s brother) wherein I disclosed the main facts of this case. I have not received any response from Mr. Sloan.
Ethical police and prosecutors usually get to the truth in short order and they always pursue justice. This case is actually a very simple one; in fact, the police have already obtained enough evidence to conclude that James Faire and Angela Nobilis are completely innocent. They also have plenty of evidence that shows George Abrantes and Richard Finegold factually committed very serious crimes.
On the other hand, bad police and prosecutors rush to judgment, they make public statements that are false, and then they do everything within their power to cover-up their injustice. At this time we choose to give the police and Prosecutor Sloan every benefit of the doubt.
However, Prosecutor Karl Sloan needs to drop this false prosecution and release James Faire immediately.
Don’t miss our next edition for updates on this case. Anyone with information on any of the people involved in this case, including the police and prosecutor are urged to contact Edward Snook at 541-474-7885 or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember, read the companion article on the front page of this edition that outlines the conspiracy Debra Long — among others — engaged in, which ultimately led to her accidental death.