Has Always Insisted
That He Is Innocent;
Hawk, Goan Divorced
BY KEN LITTLE
Jury selection begins Monday morning in the aggravated assault trial of state Rep. David Hawk.
Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, is charged with the felony offense in connection with a March 18, 2012, altercation with then-wife Crystal Goan.
Hawk's divorce from Goan was finalized in late August, according to a decree signed by special designated Chancellor E.G. Moody and filed Wednesday in Chancery Court.
"Irreconcilable differences" is the grounds for divorce listed by Hawk and Goan.
GREENE COUNTY JURY
The jury panel will be selected from a pool of more than 100 Greene County residents. The trial is expected to last between two and three days, court officials said.
Hawk, a six-term state representative, has steadfastly maintained his innocence.
Senior Judge Paul G. Summers, a former state attorney general, will preside.
Summers, of Nashville, was appointed in December 2012 to a four-year term as a senior judge by the Tennessee Supreme Court, and assigned to the Hawk case soon afterward.
Joseph Baugh, a district attorney general pro tem, was appointed to prosecute the case.
Because of his long tenure as a state representative, Hawk is well-known in the legal community, as is Goan, a Greeneville lawyer. Local prosecutors and judges initially involved in the case recused themselves from it.
Hawk has remained free on bond since the incident, and ran a successful re-election campaign last year.
He "is looking forward to getting the whole matter behind him," W. Thomas Dillard, the Knoxville lawyer hired to represent Hawk in the criminal case, said Friday.
"We will be ready for trial on Monday," Dillard said.
Hawk and Goan have been estranged since March 18, 2012. They were married on Nov. 15. 2009.
"All personal property has been divided, and both parties have agreed to maintain the property in their possession and hold the other harmless of any debts associated with [other property]," the divorce decree said.
Hawk, listed as plaintiff, and Goan, identified as defendant in the civil divorce case, will retain their personal vehicles and other property each owned prior to their marriage.
"Each party has made full disclosure to the other party of all separate and marital assets and all separate and marital liabilities," the marital dissolution agreement added.
"The parties here are desirous of adjusting issues in the divorce action without the expense of contested litigation respecting such matters," the decree said.
Hawk and Goan have a daughter born during the marriage. Issues pertaining to the couple's Parenting Plan Order are reserved "pending trial of the plaintiff's criminal matter in Greene County," the divorce decree said.
In court documents filed earlier, Goan asks for Hawk to pay child support retroactively from the March 18, 2012, date of their separation.
Goan also asks to be "primary residential custodian of the minor child."
A Greene County Grand Jury indicted Hawk on a felony count of reckless endangerment in November 2012. The grand jury issued a no-true bill on a domestic assault charge.
The reckless endangerment charge was amended earlier this year to a felony count of aggravated assault.
The language of the Hawk indictment caused confusion about the nature of the charge. Judge John F. Dugger Jr. presided at Hawk's 2012 preliminary hearing, but later recused himself.
"The factual allegations are aggravated assault, but the statute is [reckless endangerment]," Dugger said after the preliminary hearing.
The reckless endangerment indictment states that Hawk "unlawfully, feloniously and recklessly, did commit an assault [by] recklessly causing bodily injury to another, a domestic assault victim, his spouse, Crystal Goan Hawk."
The indictment states that the assault "resulted in serious bodily injury to the victim."
'NOT GUILTY' PLEA
Hawk pleaded not guilty to the domestic assault charge after it was filed in March 2012. He was charged following the altercation at the couple's Tusculum home, according to reports by sheriff's deputies.
Goan told deputies that her husband struck her in the face with his hand, knocking her to the ground.
Hawk said on March 19, 2012, that Crystal Goan "had a gun and told me she was going to put a bullet in my head while I was holding my baby. At that time, I escaped to safety with my daughter."
His claim that his wife had a gun was not substantiated by sheriff's deputies who investigated the incident.
Hawk and Goan have had no direct contact since the incident, according to testimony at the 2012 preliminary hearing.
At Hawk's September 2012 preliminary hearing, Greene County sheriff's Deputy Michael MacDonald testified that he responded to the Greeneville house of a friend of Goan, where she went after the altercation.
MacDonald said he noticed injuries to Goan's face and arm.
Baugh asked MacDonald if he believed the incident was a domestic assault case.
"Based on the facts explained to me, yes," he said.
Baugh asked if David Hawk was the "primary aggressor."
"From everything I was able to ascertain during my investigation, yes," MacDonald said.
MacDonald testified he then went to the house shared by David Hawk and his wife.
After Hawk answered the door and came outside, MacDonald said he overheard Hawk tell Goan's father, who was in the driveway, "It's all her fault. She pulled a gun on me."
On March 18, 2012, Hawk released a brief statement that said, "I am innocent and did not do what has been alleged against me. I did not harm my wife."
MacDonald's affidavit of complaint said Hawk committed the offense of domestic assault by striking Goan in the face and knocking her to the ground, and also "grabbing" her by the arm while she was holding their infant daughter in her arms.
"Did he ever produce a gun?" Baugh asked at the preliminary hearing.
"No," MacDonald replied.
Initial reports filed by deputies stated that Goan told deputies the couple had been drinking on Saturday night, March 17. They participated in local social events earlier that evening.
According to the reports, she said her husband became angry around 1 a.m. Sunday after "looking through her cell phone."
Reports said the argument reportedly continued through the early morning hours and culminated, Goan said, when Hawk allegedly struck her in the face about 8 a.m. on March 18.
The criminal complaint filed against David Hawk in connection with the domestic assault charge alleges that he grabbed Goan by the arm, "striking her in the face, causing injury and knocking her to the ground."
Goan "had bruising and swelling on and around her right eye, an abrasion [to] the upper and lower right side of her lip, and a large bruise on her left upper arm," the complaint states.
Goan told deputies that she was holding the couple's 11-month-old daughter in her arms when she fell from the alleged blow.
Goan said Hawk then "took the child from her and went to a neighbor's house," according to reports.
At the September 2012 preliminary hearing in General Sessions Court, Dillard called Goan's credibility into question.
Goan was a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in 2009 by her former husband from prior to her marriage to Hawk, James Roy Klumb. The lawsuit resulted in a ruling in Klumb's favor.
The federal court ruling also included a strong rebuke to Goan from U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Mitchell Carter for what he considered her questionable testimony in that case.
Carter later denied Goan's motion to amend a judgment awarding Klumb $10,000 in statutory damages and $10,000 in punitive damages.
In awarding $20,000 in statutory and punitive damages to Klumb, the federal judge said in his ruling that Goan's actions were part of "a larger scheme to gain advantage of the plaintiff during their divorce."
Judge Carter termed the actions "extreme and outrageous," and questioned the credibility of her testimony during the civil trial.