Grand Jury Indicted
Him On 'Reckless
Charge In November
BY KEN LITTLE
The special prosecutor in the criminal case involving state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, has filed a motion to change the charge on which the state seeks to prosecute him.
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.
Joseph Baugh, the district attorney general pro tem prosecuting the case, filed a motion last week with the Greene County Circuit Court Clerk's office seeking to amend the reckless endangerment charge to a felony count of aggravated assault.
It was just over one year ago, on March 18, 2012, that Hawk was involved in an altercation with his wife, Crystal Goan Hawk.
The six-term state representative has maintained his innocence since that time.
FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL
A motion hearing has been scheduled for May 2 by the specially appointed judge who will hear the Hawk case. He is Senior Judge Paul G. Summers, a former state attorney general.
Because of his long career as an elected official, Hawk is well-known in the legal community, as is Goan, a lawyer in Greeneville. Local prosecutors and judges initially involved in the case have recused themselves from it.
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 after.
Senior judges are assigned on a temporary basis to any state court, as needed.
Summers also set an April deadline for pre-trial motions in the case, and a plea deadline later in May.
Hawk and Goan have been estranged since March 18, 2012. Both sides seek a divorce on the grounds of "inappropriate marital conduct," according to documents filed in Greene County Chancery Court.
A Chancery Court date to finalize the divorce has not been set, as both sides proceed with discovery requests.
The Chancery Court complaint filed in July 2012 by Hawk seeks a divorce from Goan on grounds of "cruel and inhuman treatment or conduct towards the spouse as renders cohabitation unsafe and improper."
Alternately, Hawk asks for a divorce on grounds of "irreconcilable differences."
In an answer and counterclaim filed in December 2012 in Chancery Court, Goan denies allegations made by Hawk supporting the cause for divorce and "demands strict proof" of allegations in the complaint.
In turn, Goan also seeks a divorce on grounds of "cruel and inhuman treatment."
The counterclaim states that, "in the alternative, that irreconcilable differences have arisen such that it would be in the best interest of the parties that a divorce be granted."
Goan said in the counterclaim that a prenuptial agreement exists "and that the agreement should be enforced by this court according to its terms concerning the division of assets between the parties."
Hawk and Goan have a small child.
In her counterclaim, Goan asks for Hawk to pay child support retroactively from the March 18, 2012, date of their separation, along with expenses connected to the divorce proceedings and "a reasonable attorney's fee."
Goan also asks to be "primary residential custodian of the minor child."
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 has since recused himself.
"The factual allegations are aggravated assault, but the statute is [reckless endangerment]. It's rather confusing at this point," 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 and has continued to maintain that he is innocent of the charges against him.
He was charged with domestic assault following the altercation with his wife 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, a report said.
Hawk said on March 19, 2012, that during the incident, "My wife 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."
Hawk and Goan have had no direct contact since the incident, according to testimony at the 2012 preliminary hearing.