Indianz.Com > News > Prominent Indian Country artist facing criminal charge
Pawnee County Courthouse
The Pawnee County Courthouse in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Photo: Jimmy Emerson, DVM
Prominent Indian Country artist facing criminal charge
Monday, February 7, 2022

A prominent Indian Country artist has been charged in connection with an incident involving a minor, according to court records in Oklahoma.

Walter Roy Echo-Hawk Jr., who hails from the Pawnee Nation and the Yakama Nation, is facing one felony county of lewd acts with a child under 16. The crime is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison. A person convicted of the crime must also register as a sex offender.

Echo-Hawk, 46, is a visual artist and poet who is better known as “Bunky.” According to court records, the case against him stems from an investigation that began in late 2021 in the city of Pawnee, where he currently resides.

A search warrant was executed on December 28, according to the docket in Pawnee County District Court. Echo-Hawk was arrested and booked into jail on January 14. He was released that same day under a bond of $10,000. He guaranteed his own bond, a court document shows.

Echo-Hawk Jr. then made an initial appearance in court on January 18, the records show. His preliminary hearing is set for March 15 at 9am Central Time, according to the docket.

Last October, Echo-Hawk and his daughter were involved in a head-on collision in Colorado. Alexie Heline Echo-Hawk lost her life in the crash. She was 15 years old.

More than $163,000 was raised online by Echo-Hawk’s family to pay for funeral costs and other expenses, according to the GoFundMe solicitation that is no longer active. [Added February 7, 2022: Duplicate Copy: Help With Funeral Expenses, Healing & Recovery, Fundraiser Created by Crystal Echohawk]

Echo-Hawk has documented his recovery on a social media page connected to his artwork. Two posts, dated January 31 and February 2, were created after his arrest. Followers responded with positive messages at the time.

Widespread knowledge of the criminal case only arose this weekend, after Echo-Hawk’s mugshot was posted by a widely-read publication in Oklahoma. A copy of the cover page of the latest issue appeared on social media on Saturday, generating widespread interest across Indian Country.

According to court records, the case against Echo-Hawk is being prosecuted by Pawnee County Assistant District Attorney Jeff S. Jones. He is a former attorney general of the Osage Nation.

Echo-Hawk is being represented by attorneys from the Atkins Markoff Adler law firm.

The case is State of Oklahoma v. Walter Roy Echo-Hawk Jr, No. CF-2022-00001.

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