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Pre-trial conference set for Bo Crowe assault case

A criminal case  in the Cherokee Tribal Court involving former Wolfetown Rep. Bo Crowe appears to be headed for trial.

The federal government has taken an interest in Crowe’s case, Decker said, so a legal process may unfold in that jurisdiction as well. As of press time, no charges had been filed against Crowe in the Western District of North Carolina U.S. District Court.

Crowe faces three charges in tribal court, two of which are felonies, in connection to an incident that occurred the evening of Jan. 6 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. According to court documents, Crowe allegedly struck Knoxville resident Jason Matthew Burleson, placed his arm around his neck, and squeezed, rendering him unconscious. Crowe is charged with assault inflicting serious bodily injury, assault by strangulation and aggravated reckless endangerment. Together, the charges carry a maximum combined prison sentence of seven years, with fines and temporary banishment also on the table. 

Despite the allegations against Crowe, many in the Cherokee community have voiced support for him, believing that he acted to protect his teenage daughter and niece. During comments to Tribal Council Jan. 10, Crowe’s niece Livia Crowe described her uncle as a “hero” who came to her rescue that night.

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Following his arrest, Crowe resigned his seat  on Tribal Council, triggering the special election  that placed Mike Parker in his former position. However, Crowe is a candidate for Wolfetown Tribal Council  this year and hopes to reclaim his old seat in the September election. The outcome of the court case could impact that aim, however, because tribal law prevents a person who has been convicted of a felony from holding elected office. Decker expressed optimism for the outcome and said he looks forward to Crowe “being able to get back to serving the community like he has his entire life, and continues to do so.”

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