Appeal of mayor's conviction to be heard in June

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BRISTOL — Hillsville businessman and mayor Greg Crowder’s appeal of his conviction for impersonating a law enforcement officer will be heard by a jury in Bristol Circuit Court in June, according to court records.
Crowder had a hearing scheduled in Bristol Circuit Court on Monday morning, but the matter was continued at the request of the defense.
Crowder appealed his conviction on the misdemeanor charge as soon as he left the Bristol General District courtroom in January, when Judge Blake McKinney found him guilty after hearing testimony from four Outback restaurant employees who said Crowder told them he was with Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control.
McKinney sentenced Crowder to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Crowder’s wife, LouAnne, had also been charged with impersonating an officer, but she was found not guilty in Bristol General District Court.
This situation arose in March 2013, when Crowder complained about rowdy customers at the next table at the Bristol restaurant.
Crowder has maintained that a misunderstanding occurred after he told the employees that he was an “ABC manager” while making his complaints, but they took it to mean he was an ABC agent.
Crowder told The Gazette on Monday that he declined to speak about the upcoming trial on advice of his attorney.
A message left with the office of defense attorney Bob Ward of Bristol was not immediately returned.
The trial is scheduled for a full day on June 12, according to court records.