Former Tribal Council Rep. Bill Taylor accepts plea bargain

by Jan 10, 2023NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


One Feather Reporter


Former Tribal Council Wolftown Rep. Dennis ‘Bill’ Taylor has pled guilty to two of the four charges presented to him from Cherokee Court, with the remaining two being dismissed ‘pursuant to plea agreement’ by the Tribal Prosecutors.

This was the first piece of business that was handled at Cherokee Court on the morning of Monday, Jan. 9. This was set to be the first day of the bench trial for Taylor’s case, but the parties said that they had worked extensively leading up to this date to find a resolution prior to trial.

The case in question regards an incident that occurred on Oct. 6, 2022, leading to Taylor’s arrest the following day. He was released following an arraignment hearing on Oct. 10 and has been present at multiple court dates since.

Before Taylor offered his guilty plea, Lead Tribal Prosecutor Cody White explained to the Court that they would be amending the charge of ‘impaired driving’ with a charge for ‘reckless driving’. He stated that this was because of confusion in obtaining the blood-alcohol sample from Cherokee Indian Hospital. After discussion with a hired expert, White said that the logistics of using the provided reading as evidence would be too convoluted to use in a trial setting. He said that they were having difficulty with who drew the sample, as well as having issues with the timing of the test.

Taylor gave a plea of ‘guilty’ to this charge of reckless driving a violation of Cherokee Code 20-140, as well as for reckless endangerment, a violation of Cherokee Code 14-40.64. These were file numbers 22CR9890 and 22CR9855, respectively.

The other two charges were dismissed pursuant to plea agreement. These were for domestic violence (Cherokee Code 14-40.1) and assault with a deadly weapon (Cherokee Code 14-40.55), 22CR9853 and 22CR9854, respectively.

Judge Barbara Parker sentenced Taylor to a 90-day suspended imprisonment and a 12-month supervised probation. He will also be required to wear a Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) device as part of the sentence. The probation states that Taylor will be supervised ‘until all incarceration is served and Special Conditions of Probation and Monetary Conditions listed below are met, then Probation will be unsupervised for the remainder of the term.’

These additional conditions involved court costs of $190, paying of a probation fee, and completing a court-ordered batterer’s treatment course that is approximately 20 weeks long, according to Taylor’s attorney Leo Phillips.

Phillips told the Court that his client has actively been seeking multiple forms of treatment since the incident occurred in October of last year. This includes attending several different ‘alcohol anonymous’ groups, personal and couple’s counseling, and being reviewed for batterer’s treatment at Analenisgi.

He continued by stating that the family has worked with Taylor to find and push forward with treatment. Phillips and White said that the victim and the family have consistently cooperated to assist in finding a resolution.

Taylor’s case has been resolved for the time-being, dependent upon successful completion of his probation sentence.