By JONAH LOSSIAH
One Feather Reporter
Former Tribal Council member Dennis ‘Bill’ Taylor appeared in his final pre-trial hearing at Cherokee Tribal Court on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
This hearing was established as a chance for Taylor and the victim in the case to seek support and offer the potential for lessening restrictions for the defendant.
Taylor’s attorney, Leo Phillips, made a move to the Court to lift the requirement for an alcoh-sensor (a device that will prevent the vehicle from starting if the device detects an illegal alcohol quantity in a prospective driver) in his personal vehicle. Before accepting the motion, Judge Barbara Parker wished to hear from Taylor on his progress over the last few weeks.
Taylor came to the podium to report that he had done or was in the process of accomplishing all the requests of the court. He stated that he has attended alcoholics anonymous meetings ‘nearly every day’, including on vacation. He said that he has been seeking additional personal counseling, has volunteered for batterers treatment through Analenisgi, and has been in consistent communication with his probation officer.
Judge Parker said that she had no issue with removing the alcho-sensor requirement, but that he is still required to leave the cam device installed and active.
The other motion made by Philips at the hearing was for the Court to lift the restriction that prohibited Taylor from coming home. The Court ordered that Taylor find another dwelling until otherwise instructed, and that he was only supposed to have minimal contact with the victim. They were allowed to speak via phone or other virtual means. They could meet in-person for marriage counseling and court hearings.
Taylor said that they had selected a marriage counselor and that they would be beginning sessions soon. The Tribal Prosecutors took a few minutes to speak with the victim alone, and upon returning said that she also wished to lift the restriction and that she felt safe with Taylor returning to the home. Judge Parker approved this motion as well, allowing for Taylor to return.
The only other piece of business addressed in this hearing was Phillips requesting the records that showed how and when Taylor had his blood alcohol content measured. He said this was required for the expert he was looking to retain for the bench trial. Lead Prosecutor Cody White stated that this was not a problem and that they were already working on this issue.
The four charges that Taylor is facing are for domestic violence (Cherokee Code 14-40.1), assault with a deadly weapon (Cherokee Code 14-40.55), reckless endangerment (Cherokee Code 14-40.64), and impaired driving (Cherokee Code section 20-138.1). These charges are under case numbers 22CR9853, 22CR9854, 22CR9855, and 22CR9890 respectively.
In the previous hearing, the victim entered a voluntary dismissal for the civil case that involved this matter.
The date for the bench trial is set for Monday, Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. It is scheduled to last the remainder of that day and all of Jan. 10. The backup dates for the trial are set for Jan. 25 and 26.