A Greene County jury today has begun a second round of deliberating assault charges against state Rep. David Hawk, reports WGRV Radio news.
The deliberations began after the charges against Hawk were reduced from a felony aggravated assault to a misdemeanor reckless endangerment, after Hawk’s attorneys successfully argued that the state had not proved the elements of a felony charge.
The jury first send word to the judge around 8:00 PM that they were having trouble reaching a verdict. Judge Summers asked the jurors to return to deliberations and keep an open mind of others’ opinions, but not to abandon their own beliefs.
Around 8:30 PM, the jury sent a question to the judge asking if the reckless endangerment applied to the child or to the woman. During testimony, Crystal Goan had alleged that the assault on her happened at some point when she was holding their eleven-month-old baby. The judge told the jurors that the charge applied only to any incident involving Ms. Goan.
The jury resumed deliberations and just before 9:00 PM they send word to the judge that at least one of the jurors needed to make some arrangements for transportation. Judge Summers called the jury back in and asked them if they were making any progress, and that’s when the jury foreman replied that no progress was being made.
Deliberations began at 4:05 p.m. Just after the midday break, the defense rested their case. Judge Summers then dismissed the jury briefly while he ruled on a motion by the defense.
Summers ruled that there are four elements of the Aggravated Assault charge that must be met. There must have been substantial risk of death, protracted loss of consciousness, disfiguration, and protracted pain. Judge Summers ruled that the prosecution had not proved those elements and that in some of those elements no testimony or proof had been offered. The result is that instead of a felony charge and the penalties that can go along with that, Hawk now only faces a misdemeanor count.
Attorney General Joe Baugh spent about thirty minutes on his closing argument for the state. Defense attorney Tom Dillard followed with about thirty minutes of closing on behalf of Hawk.