Update: Jurors convict Rep. Hawk of reckless endangerment

Associated Press • Sep 19, 2013 at 10:13 PM

GREENEVILLE — An East Tennessee jury on Thursday convicted state Rep. David Hawk of reckless endangerment stemming from an incident in which his ex-wife alleged he had struck her.

The Greeneville Sun (http://bit.ly/18EcLRn ) reported that Hawk was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge in Greene County Criminal Court after the jury spent about 10 hours deliberating over two days.

The jury deadlocked on another misdemeanor assault charge.

The case was the result of an encounter between Hawk and his then-wife, Crystal Goan, in March 2012. Their divorce was finalized last week.

Judge Paul Summers earlier dismissed a felony charge of aggravated assault against Hawk, saying that prosecutors hadn't proved that Goan suffered serious bodily injuries.

Hawk said he would seek an appeal. Sentencing was set for Oct. 31.

According to a sheriff's department report following the incident, Goan told deputies the couple had been drinking and that David Hawk had become angry and struck her after looking through her cell phone.

Hawk testified on Wednesday that he had "no physical contact" with Goan, and that she later threatened him with a gun while he was holding their 11-month-old child.

Prosecutor Joseph Baugh stressed that no gun was found at the scene, and he disputed Hawk's claim that he did not injure Goan.

"Did she kick herself in the back of the leg? Did she kick herself in the knee?" he said. "He knocked the fire out of her."

Hawk's attorneys sought to discredit Goan's testimony by delving into a federal case settled in July 2012 in which a magistrate found she had improperly used computer spyware during her divorce from a previous husband. The ruling said Goan had violated state and federal wiretapping laws and altered a prenuptial agreement to gain an advantage in the divorce proceedings.

Hawk, a Republican, easily won re-election to a sixth term last year despite the pending charges. He relinquished his chairmanship of the House Conservation and Environment Committee after his arrest in March 2012.

Hawk had a protection order issued against him in 2005 when his previous wife, Julia, accused him of stalking her. According to news accounts in The Greeneville Sun at the time, the couple was involved in a child custody battle and David Hawk told the paper the allegations were "an obvious attempt to harm me both personally and politically."

The order was dismissed, at the request of Julia Hawk, on the same day the couple came to an agreement over custody.


Information from: The Greeneville Sun, http://www.greenevillesun.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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