Rep. Hawk convicted of reckless endangerment

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An East Tennessee jury has convicted a state lawmaker of reckless endangerment stemming from an altercation with his ex-wife.

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

The jury deadlocked on another misdemeanor assault charge.

The case was the result of an altercation between Hawk and his former wife, Crystal Goan, last year.

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

Hawk has maintained his innocence and said he would seek an appeal.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 31.

Note: WGRV radio’s account has a bit more detail. Excerpts:
The jury in the David Hawk assault trail returned a hung verdict on one count and a guilty verdict on the other count this afternoon in Greene County Criminal Court. Hawk was found guilty of Reckless Endangerment and the jury was deadlocked on the Simple Assault Charge. A sentencing hearing has been set for October 31.

…The jury deliberated for nearly 10 1/2 hours – more time than they spent listening to testimony – before announcing their verdict.

..Originally, Hawk faced a felony charge of Aggravated Assault, but after a motion by the defense, Judge Summers ruled that the state had not proven or offered enough evidence to support that charge, and reduced the charges to simple assault and reckless endangerment. The biggest difference between the original and the modified charges is that the modified charges are misdemeanors. A felony conviction, in addition to more possible jail time, also includes forfeiting certain civil liberties, such as the right to hold office. However, misdemeanor offenses do not include such penalties. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor is 11 months and 29 days.

Hawk’s lawyers indicated they intended to file motions regarding the verdict, and could ask for a judicial diversion at the sentencing hearing. A judicial diversion allows a defendent to plead guilty and be placed on supervised probation. If a defendent completes that probation period satisfactorally, the case is dismissed. Prosecuting Attorney General Joe Baugh told Judge Summers that he didn’t not anticipate re-trying Hawk on the deadlocked charge, but did keep the option open pending the outcome of other motions.

Note II: The Greeneville Sun’s more detailed account, not made available in full online until later, is HERE.