ONE FEATHER STAFF REPORT
George Lee Nobles was found guilty of first-degree murder in Jackson County Superior Court on Thursday, April 14. He was convicted of killing Barbara E. Preidt, 76, of Shelbyville, Ind., at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Cherokee on Sept. 30, 2012.
Nobles was arrested for the crime on Nov. 29, 2012. Ashlyn Nichole Carothers, of Cherokee, Noble’s girlfriend and accomplice, was sentenced on Oct. 15, 2015 to 180 months in prison for her involvement in the robbery turned murder.
According to court records, Nobles robbed and killed Preidt outside the motel with Carothers acting as the getaway driver. Carothers admitted knowing Nobles had stolen the victim’s purse and that later she and Nobles burned the victim’s purse but kept the $5,000 cash they had found in her wallet.
Information from the Cherokee Indian Police Department stated that dispatchers received a call around 9:58pm on Sept. 30, 2012 of shots being fired near the area where the motel is located. “Responding CIPD officers found Preidt lying on the ground in front of the hotel, and witnesses stated that the suspect grabbed Mrs. Preidt’s purse and as she struggled to hang on to the purse, the suspect fired the gun at close range fatally wounding Mrs. Preidt.”
Carothers pleaded guilty in March 2014 to one count of robbery by force and violence within Indian Country and aiding and abetting. Her federal sentence will be served without the possibility of parole.
Nobles was tried in state court after it was determined by Superior Court Judge Brad Letts, an EBCI tribal member, that Nobles did not meet the criteria of being an American Indian. Crimes committed on a federal Indian reservation by non-Indians against non-Indians are handled in the state court of which they occurred rather than federal court. Nobles is a first-descendant of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
According to the Jackson County Clerk of Court’s office, Nobles was due in court again on Friday, April 15 for another phase of his hearing on another charge with sentencing for the first charge to occur following.