Posted by News Express | 3 January 2021 | 1,214 times
A man convicted of murder and imprisoned in Tennessee spent years penning love letters and hand-drawn holiday cards to his victim’s widow, prosecutors said.
She didn’t know him, other than as her husband’s alleged killer — nor did she know about the overtures.
Now Hank Wise, 55, is charged with stalking and faces an additional five years tacked on to his sentence if he’s found guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee said Tuesday in a news release.
“We owe a duty to victims of crime to ensure that they will not continue to be subjected to cruel acts which cause emotional distress as alleged here,” U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said in the release. “We simply will not stand for this.”
According to court filings, Wise shot and killed a man prosecutors identified as B.G. at the Buck Wild Saloon in Nashville in April 2009. B.G. hosted karaoke nights at the bar and was often accompanied by his wife, who was there the night he died.
The couple didn’t know Wise, who prosecutors described as an “acquaintance” they met through karaoke nights.
Wise was convicted of second-degree murder in April 2012 and sentenced to 23 years in prison. His scheduled release date is Oct. 21, 2028, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction.
During Wise’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors said N.G. “described how Wise’s murder of her husband had a severe and detrimental impact on her life.”
Wise was still in jail awaiting trial in 2011 when the letters began.
Daniel L. Graves II, an attorney in Murfeesboro, Tennessee, reportedly received the first two letters between August 2011 and March 2012. Graves represented B.G.’s widow in a wrongful death suit she brought against Wise, investigators said in an affidavit supporting the new criminal charges.
He told the widow — identified in court filings as N.G. — as well as state prosecutors handling Wise’s case, court filings state.
“Given the content and timing of the communications (they were sent while Wise was in custody and awaiting trial for the murder of her husband), N.G. was extraordinarily upset when she learned of the attempts by Wise to communicate with her,” investigators said.
State prosecutors declined to file additional charges, and N.G. reportedly told Graves not to notify her if Wise sent any more letters.
But the attempts to communicate didn’t stop.
Between 2011 and 2017, Wise sent “unrequested letters,” Christmas cards and Valentine’s Day cards to N.G. that Graves kept but did not share with her, court filings state.
“I still think about you every day only because I loved you so much from the first day I ever met you and that’s not a past tense statement,” he wrote in December 2015, according to court documents.
“I have to try to mend our relationship,” Wise later wrote.
N.G. was “highly distressed” when Graves eventually told her about the letters in 2019, court filings state.
Federal prosecutors in the Middle District subsequently investigated Wise’s communication with the widow and found “any previous interaction between N.G. and Wise had never moved past the level of occasional acquaintance (much less to the level of a prior romantic relationship).”
They said the letters and cards were intended to “harass and/or intimidate” her. (Text, excluding headline, courtesy The Charlotte Observer)
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