Hugh Nolan Queen, 48, of Cherokee, was convicted on Aug. 21 in The Cherokee Court in file number 12-CR-1318 for Domestic Violence Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury and Weapons Offense, and was sentenced to two years imprisonment. The sentence was issued by the Honorable Kirk G. Saunooke, Cherokee Court Judge.
Tribal Prosecutor Jason Smith stated, “I want to thank the Cherokee Indian Police Department and Detective Sean Birchfield for his hard work in the investigation of this case which helped make this conviction possible. I would also like to thank the victim-advocates from the Tribal Domestic Violence Program for their valuable assistance in working with the victim of this case.”
“This case involved a serious domestic violence incident, and the defendant was sentenced to the maximum possible punishment available under Cherokee law. The Office of the Tribal Prosecutor and the Cherokee Indian Police Department take cases of domestic violence very seriously, and we do everything possible, in conjunction with Tribal Domestic Violence Advocates, to keep victims of this heinous type of crime and the community safe.”
This case is the third case in the Cherokee Court in which a defendant has received a felony-level punishment of greater than one year imprisonment since the enactment of the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act.
Hugo Gardo Ramirez was convicted of Burglary on April 4 and sentenced to three years imprisonment, and Krystal Lynne Watty was convicted of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender on June 27 and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Cherokee recently enacted legislation during the August Session of Tribal Council updating the remainder of the Cherokee Criminal Code to provide for enhanced felony-level sentencing, with maximum possible punishments of three years in all applicable offenses (Tribal Ordinance # 182). Nationally, there are only three other federally recognized Tribes that have enacted similar legislation pursuant to the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act authority granted in 2010.
– Office of the Tribal Prosecutor