BY KEN LITTLE
The strongest words spoken Tuesday during the preliminary hearing for state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, Greeneville, were spoken by his estranged wife, Crystal Goan Hawk.
During an hour on the stand, Crystal Hawk detailed what she alleged happened in the hours before David Hawk was charged on March 18 with domestic assault.
At the end of the hearing, Judge James Nidiffer bound the charge over for consideration by a Greene County grand jury.
CRYSTAL HAWK TESTIMONY
Crystal Hawk minced no words in her testimony, describing in earthy terms what she alleges her husband said and did.
During cross-examination, David Hawk's lawyer, Knoxville-based Tom Dillard, called into question her credibility.
Crystal Hawk testified that her husband struck her in the face while she was sitting on a couch, holding their 11-month-old daughter, knocking her out in the process.
The baby and Hawk were not in the couple's house when she came to, she testified. Her husband had taken all the telephones in the house, she said, so she drove to the house of an employee in her law firm and called Craig Bowlby, an auxiliary sheriff's deputy who works at the Greene County Courthouse.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
David Hawk was often jealous of her interactions with other men, Crystal Hawk said. The couple was married in 2009, and Hawk testified she had been faithful to her husband throughout the marriage.
Crystal Hawk told special prosecutor Joseph D. Baugh that David Hawk became angry with her the night of March 17, while they were attending a Greeneville Arts Council event.
He did not like the way she was greeted by several male acquaintances and forbade her to speak with a man, she testified.
Crystal Hawk testified she had two drinks at the event and David Hawk had three drinks.
"He was irate," she said.
After leaving, the couple picked up their daughter at David Hawk's parents' house and went home. Crystal Hawk testified she thought the couple had made up before she went to bed about 10:30 p.m.
About midnight on March 18, she told prosecutor Baugh, Hawk pulled her out of bed and the confrontation "escalated" with accusations about her actions at the event and being unfaithful.
Crystal Hawk said her husband hurt her arm when he pulled her out of bed, and may have caused her to cut her lip when she hit the floor.
She testified that her husband then went to their daughter's bedroom and locked the door. He wouldn't let her in the room, and she said she fell asleep on the floor by the bedroom door.
Crystal Hawk testified that she later woke up and began collecting her daughter's possessions so she could leave when she got the child back.
Her husband had all the telephones in the house, she said, "so I couldn't call anybody."
About 6 a.m. on March 18, Crystal Hawk said, she heard the baby begin to cry. She wanted to nurse her, she said, and David Hawk let her in the room "and slammed the door," she testified.
Hawk, she said, "was extremely upset and extremely violent" and threatened to use his influence to "ruin her." Meanwhile he "kept trying to get the baby," she said.
Crystal Hawk said she was holding the baby with her left hand and feeding her with her right hand on a downstairs couch.
"Did he hit you?" Baugh asked.
"He hit me on my right cheek," Crystal Hawk testified. "He knocked me out."
When she came to, "the front door was open, and I had no idea where he went," she said.
Crystal Hawk said she went to her office manager's house and called Bowlby, who got to the house quickly. Other deputies arrived soon afterward, she said.
Crystal Hawk said there was no gun in the house she shared with her husband.
"Were you armed in any way that night?" Baugh asked.
"No," she said.
David Hawk said on March 19 that Crystal Hawk "had a gun and told me she was going to put a bullet in my head while I was holding my baby."
Hawk said that after he was threatened with the gun, he "escaped to safety with my daughter."
FEDERAL COURT CASE
Baugh asked her about the case in federal court.
"It was a civil case between my ex and I," she said.
Crystal Hawk said she did not read the order by U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Mitchell Carter in that case, and was not aware of any characterizations he made about her credibility.
Baugh asked Crystal Hawk if she did anything "to provoke this activity from your husband."
"No," she said.
Under cross-examination by Dillard, Crystal Hawk denied knowledge of any compromising text messages on her cell phone, including a particular message referred to by Dillard.
"He's got my phone," she said of David Hawk. "This is the first time I've seen that text message."
Asked about the federal civil case ruling, Crystal Hawk reiterated that she didn't see the order entered by Magistrate Judge Carter in July.
"The judge didn't believe you, did he?" Dillard asked.
"I don't know," she responded.