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Public Notices

April 19, 2014

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Deadlocked Hawk Jury
Still In Deliberations

Sun photo by O.J. Early

State Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, speaks to the news media Thursday afternoon following his conviction by a Greene County Criminal Court jury of a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.

Originally published: 2013-09-19 10:47:52
Last modified: 2013-09-19 10:59:28
 


'I Don't See Us

Budging A Speck,'

Jury Foreman

Tells The Judge

BY KEN LITTLE

STAFF WRITER


A Greene County Criminal Court jury remained deadlocked at 10:55 a.m. today in the David Hawk case.

After five hours of deliberation on Wednesday, the jury began deliberating once again at 8:30 a.m. today.

Senior Judge Paul Summers had sent the panel home for the night at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Today is the fourth day of the trial.

The seven-woman, five-man jury has the option of finding Hawk guilty of misdemeanor counts of assault and reckless endangerment, individually or on both counts, or may acquit him of both charges.

The jury foreman reported to Summers before being dismissed for the night that jurors were having difficulty reaching a consensus.

"I don't see us budging a speck," he told Summers, who encouraged jurors to consider the opinions of others on the panel while not compromising their own, and return this morning prepared to continue deliberations.

"I want to exhaust every possibility to try to get a unanimous verdict on one or more of the charges," Summers told the jury. "Nothing is absolutely impossible."

CONFLICTING VERSIONS

Hawk, a six-term state representative from Greeneville, is charged with assaulting his wife, Crystal Goan, at the couple's Tusculum home in the early- morning hours of March 18, 2012.

Goan is a Greeneville lawyer. The couple's divorce was finalized last week.

Goan testified Tuesday that Hawk caused injuries to her face and bruising to her arms and legs in two separate incidents in their house as the couple argued over a text message Hawk found on her cellphone early that morning

Hawk, 45, has maintained since his arrest that he is innocent of the charges against him.

Trial testimony this week has revealed two sharply conflicting versions of what happened between the couple.

HAWK TAKES STAND

Earlier Wednesday, Hawk testified in his own defense.

He said that his relationship with Goan was troubled from the beginning. On many occasions, he testified, "I removed myself from the situation" rather than get into a confrontation.

Hawk testified that he did not regularly check Goan's appointment calendar in her office or have an office key, as Goan said in prosecution testimony Tuesday.

Speaking in an even, controlled tone of voice, Hawk detailed to defense lawyer Wade Davies his version of what occurred on the night of March 17-18, 2012.

Hawk said he and Goan went to a Greeneville Arts Council fundraiser in the downtown area that night. He testified that he drank moderately and was not impaired.

He observed Goan having several drinks, but said the couple had a "good time" before picking up their 11-month-old daughter at his parents' house and arriving home about 10 p.m. on March 17.

CELLPHONE MESSAGE

Hawk said that he found Goan asleep in bed and that he was preparing to go to sleep when he noticed Goan's cellphone "flashing" on a nightstand next to her.

"It was flashing, and I knew if I didn't answer it, it would blink all night long," he said.

Hawk testified he saw a text message on the phone from a lawyer friend of Goan who had represented her in a recent case in U.S. District Court involving her first husband, Roy Klumb.

Trial exhibits showed the cellphone message invited Goan to "go to Paris" with the sender, who texted that she "deserved better."

The message concluded "Sleep well, but dream of me tonight."

"I decided it was an important message I wanted to keep, and forwarded it to my phone," Hawk testified.

Hawk said he felt "confused" about the message at first.

"I was very concerned," he said, adding he felt "no rage."

"It wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it wasn't going to be the last time," Hawk said.

COUPLE HAVE ALTERCATION

Goan had testified that Hawk took her cellphone and other phones in the house after the alleged assault. Hawk countered on Wednesday that he did not take Goan's phone and did not know where it was.

Hawk said he awakened Goan after reading the message, and she told him she could explain.

"I said, 'Look, this is just wrong. I don't know what this is all about,'" Hawk testified.

About that time, Hawk said he heard the baby monitor go off, and he went to an upstairs bedroom where she was sleeping, to "comfort" her.

Hawk said Goan followed him up the stairs.

"I was concerned she was going to start something, and I locked the door," he testified. "She pounded on the door."

Hawk said he told Goan they would talk about the text message in the morning.

'CALM THE SITUATION'

"It was disturbing. I was trying to calm the situation as much as I can," he said. "There were raised voices."

Hawk said he forwarded the text to his parents, Goan's parents, her brother, and Farah Nelson, Goan's legal assistant. Hawk testified he spoke once on the phone with Nelson during the night when she called to assess the situation.

"I wanted them to be aware of what was going on," he stated.

Hawk said he went to sleep and woke up in the bedroom with the baby about 5:30 a.m. He testified that he never left the room during the night.

Hawk said that he later found his cellphone service "terminated" at 3:18 a.m. on March 18, adding that he was not responsible.

Several attempted calls, including one to Goan's parents about 7 a.m. on the 18th, did not go through, he said.

"I was trying to call the Goan family to let them know Crystal was not right," Hawk testified. About that time, he said, Goan found a way to get into the bedroom.

Throughout the night and into the morning, Hawk testified he had "no physical contact" with Goan.

NERVOUS ABOUT 'DEMEANOR'

He said Goan took the baby downstairs and began feeding her with a bottle.

"She made the statement that I would regret the day that I kept the baby away from her," Hawk said. "I was very nervous about her demeanor at this time."

Hawk said he was "trying to figure out how to get myself and my daughter to safety because the situation is not good."

Goan had finished feeding the baby and had laid her on the couch, he said.

"I saw an opportunity to move toward the door," he said, and picked the baby up with both hands and placed her in his left hand.

Goan testified Tuesday that Hawk struck her in the face when he picked up the baby.

"Did you hit Crystal?" Davies asked Hawk.

"No sir, I never hit Crystal," he replied.

GUN ALLEGATION

Hawk said he went down a hallway and moved to the front door, but Goan had gotten there first and was "backed up against the door."

Hawk said he pulled the front door open, which "moved Crystal into the dining room area."

"I saw her go down and pick up a gun off the floor (and) point it toward me," he testified.

"She's coming at me, pointing a gun, saying she's going to put a bullet in my head. At that moment, I shot out the door and went to my neighbor's house," Hawk said.

Trial testimony showed that Hawk later returned to the house, and Sheriff's Deputy Michael MacDonald identified him as the "primary aggressor" in the altercation with Goan.

CLOSING ARGUMENTS

Joseph Baugh, the district attorney general pro tem prosecuting the case, and Davies' partner Thomas Dillard, offered closing arguments to the jury Wednesday afternoon.

Goan testified Tuesday that she had fallen asleep shortly after midnight March 18 and was dragged out of bed and thrown to the floor by Hawk after he saw the text message on her phone.

She also testified that when she was with the baby on the downstairs couch later that morning, Hawk had reached down and picked the baby up with one hand while striking her unconscious in the face with the other.

In his summation, Baugh called the credibility of Hawk's testimony into question. In the defense summation, Dillard did the same relative to Goan's testimony.

"This case involves the credibility of witnesses, and the stories involved are categorically in conflict," Baugh said.

Despite defense testimony seeking to discredit Goan, "The only person on trial in this case is David Brian Hawk," Baugh said.
PROSECUTION STATEMENT

Baugh said the text message to Goan made Hawk "furious."

"'My question is, 'Who did hit her?'" he asked. "Did she kick herself in the back of the leg. Did she kick herself in the knee?"

Baugh answered his own question.

"He knocked the fire out of her, so he's got to pull out the big gun, and he literally does," he said. "Not only has anybody (not) seen a gun; nobody has found a gun."

But once Hawk told the neighbor across the street, where he went with his daughter, there was no turning back, Baugh said.

"The story was out. He had to keep up with it, and that's exactly what he did," Baugh said.

"People like this can never accept responsibility for what they do. It's always somebody else's fault," Baugh said.

'DID NOT DO THAT'

In his closing argument, Dillard said Hawk was a "faithful husband" who only sought to protect his daughter.

"We don't know what happened if you're talking about who inflicted these injuries. We don't know. But David Hawk told you, he did not do that," Dillard said.

Dillard referred to the federal court case involving Goan, who was sued in a civil, not criminal, action by her first husband.

In a ruling filed in July 2012, U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Mitchell Carter found that Goan violated both the federal Wiretap Act and the Tennessee Wiretap Act "by installing spyware on Klumb's computers without his consent to intercept his incoming email" and alter it to appear he was having an affair, in an attempt to get more money in a divorce.

Goan reached an agreement with Klumb in the civil lawsuit for $50,000.

A 'FINANCIAL DECISION'

Goan, who maintained Tuesday that the federal lawsuit had been dismissed, also testified that she had not read the federal judge's opinion and could not comment on it.

She was directed by Summers to read it overnight, and she was called to the stand Wednesday morning as a hostile defense witness.

Goan still said the case had been dismissed, but she admitted to reaching the $50,000 settlement with Klumb as a "financial decision."

"A federal court was not fooled. We're asking you to not be fooled, either," Dillard told the jury.

DEFENSE MOTION GRANTED

Hawk was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault, a felony. Summers dismissed that charge on Wednesday morning.

He took the action in response to a defense motion seeking the dismissal because, defense attorneys argued, the prosecution did not prove all the elements of the felony charge.

Instead, Summers ruled that the jury could consider the charges of reckless endangerment and assault, lesser charges classified as misdemeanors.

Before being sent home for the night, the jury asked Summers if the reckless endangerment charge applied to the child or to Goan.

The judge answered that the charge only applied to Goan.

 
For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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