Press release from Tennessee Firearms Association; April 18, 2012:
Nikki Goeser and the ongoing trail involving her husband’s murder
On April 2, 2009, Hank Wise walked into Jonny’s Sports Bar in Nashville, pulled a handgun and shot Ben Goeser several times at point blank range. Nikki Goeser was and is a handgun permit holder. Her weapon was in the car solely because Tennessee law at the time prohibited her from having her self-defense weapon with because she and Ben were working their Karaoke job at the restaurant which served beer. Ben’s life ended in that moment. Nikki’s changed forever. Neither can be undone and both lie partially at the feet of unconstitutional restrictions under Tennessee law which infringed her right to carry a firearm for self-defense. She may not have saved Ben’s life but the State of Tennessee denied her even so much as the chance to try. Nikki was with Senator Jackson on the Senate
The story of Nikki and Ben is much like the story repeated over and over throughout this country, such as Suzanna Hupp’s, where citizens are unconstitutionally or needlessly disarmed by government and then suffer injury and death because politicians, collectively, have repeatedly proven that they will not stand up to the news media, some in law enforcement (such as the Tennessee Chiefs of Police Association), and, sadly, even big business interests to repeal all infringements on our 2nd Amendment rights.
Your life is not about political correctness. No one stands over the coffin of a disarmed citizen and proclaims that they gave their life to make society safer.
The first time I met Nikki was shortly after the murder. She, alone, walked into one of the Nashville TFA Chapter meetings, sat down and at an appropriate time started to tell her story. It was something that those in the room that night will never forget. Since that time, Nikki has dedicated a lot of her time, effort and resouces not only to being involved with the criminal prosecution of her husband’s murderer but she has also worked tirelessly to share Ben’s story to encourage legislators to fix the laws in Tennessee and other states in which she has spoken since the murder by repealing infringements which disarm citizens.
After three years, Hank Wise case went to trial this month. Although charged with first degree murder, he was convicted of a “lesser included offense” of 2nd Degree murder. The state of Tennessee, which some may say already had blood on its hands because of the laws disarming citizens, refused to pursue the death penalty for this intentional murder. The defense was primarily based on a theory of insanity – a claim that the man was and is so mentally delusional that he should not be held accountable for this murder.
The court has set a sentencing hearing for May 30, at 9:00 a.m., in the Davidson County Criminal Court, Room 6D which is in the A.A. Birch courthouse on 2nd Avenue across from the jail. TFA is encouraging all of those who can to take the time off from your busy personal schedules and be in court that day to help her through this time. Please do not take this request lightly.
There is also a great deal of concern regarding what type of sentence will be issued. Second degree murder has a sentence under Tennessee law of 15 to 25 years. But, he gets a credit for being in jail the last 3 years, he might get a reduction for “good behavior” and he may be eligible for other credits that could reduce his possible effective sentence to maybe half of the minimum sentence. As you can imagine Nikki doesn’t want to meet Hank Wise on the street one day and the same goes for all of us. He is a proven murderer and, if the defense experts are even remotely close, severely mentally unbalanced.
TFA asks this of all of its members. All of them . Write a very polite and respectful letter to Judge Seth Norman urging him to give this murderer Hank Wise the maximum sentence possible with no possibility of parole. Please send a letter asking for the maximum sentence not only on behalf Ben and Nikki Goeser but on behalf of us all.The Hon. Seth Norman, Judge Davidson County Criminal Court, Div. IV 408 2nd Avenue North Nashville, TN 37201 Re: Hank Wise, Case No: 2009-C-2653
If you would like more information before you compose your letter, consider a few of these stories and video clips: