BY KEN LITTLE
The domestic assault charge against state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, was bound over to a grand jury Tuesday at a preliminary hearing in Greene County General Sessions Court.
sheriff's deputies who spoke with David and Crystal Goan Hawk on the morning of March 18 testified
for the state, along with alleged victim Crystal Hawk.
The couple has not had direct contact since March 18 and are in the process of lawyer mediation likely leading to a divorce, according to hearing testimony.
Specially-appointed Judge James Nidiffer, of Washington County, found that evidence presented in testimony during the two-hour hearing was sufficient to forward the case to a grand jury for consideration.
The grand jury, operating under the authority of the Greene County Criminal Court, will decide whether to issue a formal criminal indictment.
David Hawk, who pled not guilty to the domestic violence charge in March and strongly maintains his innocence of the charges against him, did not testify at the preliminary hearing Tuesday, which was held to determine whether probable cause exists to establish that domestic assault was committed.
The Greene County grand jury next convenes the last week of November. A tentative Criminal Court arraignment date of Nov. 30 was set for Hawk.
The five-term state representative is seeking re-election in the Nov. 6 general election.
His opponent is Democrat Eddie Yokely, of Greene County, a former state representative from the 11th District. After redistricting, Yokley now lives in the 5th District.
Hawk's lawyer, Tom Dillard, of Knoxville, repeatedly called into question the credibility of Crystal Hawk, a Greeneville lawyer.
Crystal Hawk was a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by former husband James Roy Klumb that resulted in a ruling in July in Klumb's favor, and a rebuke from the judge for what he considered her questionable testimony in that case.
RULING IN FEDERAL CASE
The federal civil lawsuit was brought by her ex-husband, Klumb, and a jury trial was held in December 2011.
In July, U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Mitchell Carter ruled in Klumb's favor in the case, which cited the use of computer spyware, altered documents and emails by Crystal Hawk against her former husband.
Carter awarded $20,000 in statutory and punitive damages to Klumb. The federal judge said in his ruling that Crystal Hawk's actions were part of "a larger scheme to gain advantage of the plaintiff during their divorce."
Carter termed the actions "extreme and outrageous," and questioned the credibility of her testimony during the civil trial.
The judge's ruling was appealed in August by her lawyer in that case. Crystal Goan Hawk, as she is known in that case, seeks a new trial.
The motion requests Carter to "review the findings of fact and conclusions of law."
Crystal Hawk testified under cross-examination Tuesday by Dillard that she was not aware of the judge's strong language in the July 19 ruling because she had not read his order.
LT. BOWLBY TESTIMONY
Two sheriff's deputies were questioned Tuesday by Joseph D. Baugh, a former district attorney general from Williamson County who was appointed special prosecutor in the case.
First to testify was sheriff's Auxiliary Lt . Craig Bowlby, who is also a full-time member of the Greeneville Fire Department.
Bowlby said he was preparing to work a security detail for a race at Bristol Motor Speedway about 8:45 a.m. on March 18 when he received a telephone call from the phone of Crystal Hawk's office assistant. It was Hawk, and she was "hysterical," Bowlby testified.
Bowlby said Crystal Hawk was a friend he knew from her legal work at the county courthouse, where he works as an auxiliary deputy.
Crystal Hawk asked Bowlby to come to the Crockett Lane house of her employee, where she had driven after the altercation with her husband.
When he arrived, he said Hawk was crying and carrying on and had a "knot" under her right eye and a bruise on her left arm.
The knot under Crystal Hawk's eye, he testified, was "half-dollar size."
Hawk told the deputy her husband had their daughter, who was 11 months old at the time.
After Crystal Hawk described what she said happened at the house she and Hawk shared, Bowlby said he called the sheriff's department and explained the situation.
"She was very upset," he told Baugh.
Bowlby said he didn't call an ambulance because he didn't think Crystal Hawk needed one.
David Hawk said the day after the incident 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. At that time, I escaped to safety with my daughter."
Baugh asked Bowlby if she mentioned "anything about having a weapon."
She did not, he said.
Bowlby, under cross-examination by Dillard, was asked if he had any "personal knowledge" of what caused Crystal Hawk's injuries.
"No, sir," he said.
DEPUTY MACDONALD TESTIMONY
Deputy Michael MacDonald responded to the Greeneville location where Crystal Hawk was after the altercation and spoke with her. MacDonald said he quickly noticed the injuries to her face and arm.
Baugh asked MacDonald if, in his opinion, he believed it 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 Crystal Hawk's father, who was in the driveway, "It's all her fault. She pulled a gun on me."
Deputy MacDonald added, "or something to that effect."
MacDonald arrested Hawk and took him to be booked, he testified.
MacDonald's affidavit of complaint said Hawk committed the offense of domestic assault by striking Crystal Hawk in the face and knocking her to the ground, and also "grabbing" her by the arm while she was holding their daughter in her arms.
"Did he ever produce a gun?" Baugh asked.
"No," MacDonald replied.
MacDonald said under cross-examination by Dillard that he determined "there was probable cause to make an arrest" based on Crystal Hawk's injuries and statements she made.
Nidiffer ruled that until lawyers representing the Hawks work out custody issues, current arrangements that restrict David Hawk from seeing his daughter unless his parents are present will remain in effect.
Nidiffer ruled that Hawk poses no flight risk, and current bond was continued.
DAVID HAWK COMMENTS
Hawk, 44, did not take the stand at Tuesday's preliminary hearing, but emphatically maintained his innocence afterward.
"As we all saw, this was only a preliminary hearing as told by one side. Much of the testimony seemed incredible to us, much like the previous court case she was involved in," Hawk said.
"Folks need to remember I am completely innocent."
Hawk referred to the civil case in U.S. District Court involving Crystal Goan Hawk.
'HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE'
There isn't any guarantee that the grand jury will consider the domestic assault charge against Hawk when it convenes again in late November, court officials said.
"We'll just have to wait and see what happens at the next stage," Dillard said after the hearing.
Both General Sessions Court Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr. and C. Berkeley Bell, 3rd Judicial District attorney general, earlier recused themselves from the case.
Baugh, the special prosecutor, has a private law practice in Franklin. He served as district attorney general in the 21st Judicial District in the 1980s and 1990s.
"We assert that the state has proof and probable cause that Mr. Hawk was involved in this matter," he said during his closing statement.