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Washington County school board's Hammond arrested for 3rd time in tenure

Becky Campbell • Updated Apr 18, 2019 at 7:11 PM

Update:

Washington County Board of Education member David Hammond shook his head Thursday as General Sessions Judge Don Arnold read a warrant charging Hammond with violating a bond order to stay away from his girlfriend, who had accused him of assault in March.

Hammond, 50, who was arrested and arraigned on Thursday, stood in the inmate box in handcuffs and dressed in a red jail uniform as he listened to the allegations against him from an incident that happened Tuesday involving his girlfriend, Jennifer Friday. The two had apparently been meeting and texting since Hammond was released from jail last month following his arrest on a domestic violence assault charge.

There was also some discussion between Arnold and Assistant District Attorney General Bill McManus about whether Hammond had violated a bond order or an order of protection. There is a temporary order of protection in place, but that matter has not been decided by a judge. Nonetheless, wWen someone is released on bond on a domestic violence charge, the document they sign specifically states they agree to stay away from their alleged victim.

Hammond’s arrest Thursday stemmed from him being in contact with his girlfriend.

Hammond’s attorney, Gene Scott, and Friday’s attorney, Donna Bolton, had a verbal agreement to set the order of protection hearing off until July, so Hammond and the woman didn’t show up for that hearing. The case was inadvertently dismissed, but later reinstated once the clerical error was discovered, according to Bolton.

The state had asked for Hammond to be held without bond, but the judge denied that. He did, however, increase Hammond’s bond from $5,000 to $10,000. Hammond posted bond and was released from the Washington County Detention Center at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Judges often warn defendants that it doesn’t matter if the contact is initiated by the alleged victim — which seemed to have happened in this case, according to court documents — but that the defendant is responsible for leaving the area even if they were there first.

According to a court record, Johnson City police were called to Hammond’s residence at 115 Beechnut St., Apt. B2, about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday regarding a woman claiming that her boyfriend was holding her hostage. Police found Hammond and Friday walking out of the apartment.

Friday told police she had been in contact with Hammond earlier in the day and had gone to his apartment to spend time with him. An argument started, she said, and Hammond threatened to release risqué photos of her if she left the apartment. She called 911.

Hammond denied the allegations and said he had allowed Friday to visit after receiving text messages from her. He told police he left the apartment, and when he returned, Friday was still there. An argument followed, he said, and she eventually called 911.

Officer William Saulsbury stated in the court record that he had examined Friday’s cellphone and saw extensive text messages between her and Hammond going back several days. Friday also showed Saulsbury a smartphone application, Burner, which also allowed the pair to communicate.

No charges were filed Tuesday. Saulsbury later obtained a warrant after learning that Hammond was under a Washington County Sessions Court order of protection prohibiting Hammond from contacting Friday in any capacity.

“Based on him letting her into his apartment and his conversations with her that I found on her phone, Mr. Hammond is in clear violation of this order,” Saulsbury wrote.

The original incident between Hammond and the woman occurred March 22.

Friday told police then that Hammond had assaulted her the night before. She showed police bruises on her arms and torso, which she said Hammond caused when he grabbed her and pushed her two days earlier. She also told police that their argument involved Hammond’s “drug and alcohol consumption” and that he had grabbed her and pushed her two days earlier.

Hammond was not home when police arrived, but later called Friday, and she let officers listen to the conversation. Police said Hammond was “heavily slurred and sounded extremely intoxicated.” Officer Adam Murray told Friday to go home and to obtain an order of protection.

Thursday’s arrest marked the third time Hammond faced charges in Washington County during his tenure on the school board. After his arrest in March, Hammond remained on the Board of Education and told the Johnson City Press he did not intend to resign and would fight the assault charge.

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Reported earlier:

A local school board member was set to appear in court Thursday afternoon after his second arrest in a matter of weeks.

Washington County Board of Education member David Hammond was jailed Thursday morning on an charge that he violated an order of protection stemming from the same situation that led to his March 22 domestic assault charge.

Hammond remained on the Board of Education after that arrest, telling the Johnson City Press he did not intend to resign and would fight the assault charge.

Thursday’s arrest marked the third time Hammond faced charges in Washington County during his tenure on the school board.

According to a court record, Johnson City police were called to Hammond’s residence at 115 Beechnut St., Apt. B2, about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday regarding a woman claiming that her boyfriend was holding her hostage. Police found Hammond and the woman, Jennifer Friday, walking out of the apartment.

Friday told police she had been in contact with Hammond earlier in the day and had gone to his apartment to spend time with him. An argument started, she said, and Hammond threatened to release risqué photos of her if she left the apartment. She called 911.

Hammond denied the allegations and said he had allowed Friday to visit after receiving text messages from her. He told police he left the apartment, and when he returned, Friday was still there. An argument followed, he said, and Friday eventually called 911.

Officer William Saulsbury stated in the court record that he had examined Friday’s cellphone and saw extensive text messages between Hammond and Friday going back several days. Friday also showed Saulsbury a smartphone application, Burner, which also allowed the pair to communicate.

No charges were filed Tuesday. Saulsbury later obtained a warrant after learning that Hammond was under a Washington County Sessions Court order of protection prohibiting Hammond from contacting Friday in any capacity.

“Based on him letting her into his apartment and his conversations with her that I found on her phone, Mr. Hammond is in clear violation of this order,” Saulsbury wrote.

Hammond’s March 22 arrest occurred after Friday told police Hammond had assaulted her the night before. The woman showed police bruises on her arms and torso, which she said Hammond caused when he grabbed her and pushed her two days earlier. She also told police that their argument involved Hammond’s “drug and alcohol consumption” and that he had grabbed her and pushed her two days earlier.

Hammond was not home when police arrived, but later called his girlfriend, and she let officers listen to the conversation. Police said Hammond was “heavily slurred and sounded extremely intoxicated.” Officer Adam Murray told the woman to go back to her own home and to obtain an order of protection. Hammond was set to return to Sessions Court on the assault charge next Monday.

He had a previous domestic assault arrest involving his wife at the time. It happened in July 2015 after a co-worker of Hammond’s wife noticed bruises on her face. A Washington County Sheriff’s deputy talked to the woman and she said her husband caused the bruise during a “scuffle,” but she didn’t report the incident to police at the time because she feared she would be arrested. That charge was ultimately dismissed and expunged.

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