Crowe receives federal probation for assault: Cherokee Tribal Court to hear case next month

Bo Crowe was given probation but still awaits trial in Cherokee Tribal Court. File photo Bo Crowe was given probation but still awaits trial in Cherokee Tribal Court. File photo

After pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault in federal court last August, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council Member Rep. Bo Crowe — who represents Wolfetown — has been sentenced to two years’ probation for an incident that occurred in January 2023.

Court documents state that on Jan. 6, 2023, Crowe “initiated” an assault by punching the victim in the valet parking area of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee. Crowe landed “several punches” before he “maneuvered so that he was on the back of” the victim, rendering him “momentarily unconscious.” As a result of the assault, the victim “suffered bodily injury, including bruising, swelling, scratches and other injury,” eventually seeking medical attention.

However, not long after the public came to know of the assault, Crowe’s loved ones lept to his defense, stating that wasn’t whole story. They said Crowe acted to protect his daughter and niece, who were both teenagers.

Though he resigned his seat representing Wolfetown on Tribal Council after the charges were filed, he regained the seat with relative ease in last year’s election.

Crowe is still set to face trial in Cherokee Tribal Court on three charges, two of which are felonies, in connection with the incident. The tribal charges carry a maximum combined prison sentence of seven years, and a felony conviction could end Crowe’s political career. Under tribal law, a person who has been convicted of a felony offense is ineligible to run for or hold elected office. Tribal court may grant a petition to reinstate this right following completion of the sentence.

In a previous Smoky Mountain News story, Crowe’s attorney, Caleb Decker, said Crowe plans to maintain his not guilty plea in tribal court. When asked at that time whether a guilty plea in federal court might make it harder to defend against the tribal charges, Decker said he does not believe it will.  

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“They are technically different crimes,” he said, “and Cherokee will understand that Mr. Crow made a decision to resolve the federal case based on a lot of factors, primarily economic.”

Along with receiving probation, Crowe was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

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