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Press Release

Federal Judge Sentences Whittier, N.C. Man To 46 Months For Assaulting Tribal Elder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Jonathan David Taylor today to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release, for the May 2019 assault of a tribal elder, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Taylor, 33, of Whittier, N.C., pleaded guilty on October 23, 2019, to assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm.

Chief Doug Pheasant of the Cherokee Indian Police Department joins U.S. Attorney Murray in making todays’ announcement.

According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on May 8, 2019, Taylor used a metal pipe to strike a 71-year-old male victim in the forehead, inflicting serious injury. Court records show that Taylor assaulted the victim when the victim attempted to prevent Taylor from physically assaulting Taylor’s then-girlfriend. Court records also show that Taylor caused the victim to sustain a large jagged laceration on the top of his head that required medical attention. Both Taylor and the victim are enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 

Taylor is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray thanked CIPD for their investigation of the case. Assistant United States Attorney John Pritchard, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case.


Updated March 19, 2020

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime