Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Seth Norman Wednesday morning found Hank Wise guilty of second-degree murder in the 2009 shooting death of karaoke disc jockey Ben Goeser.
Wise faces a sentence of 15 to 25 years and has a sentencing hearing set for May 30.
During this week’s bench trial — heard by Norman rather than a jury — Wise’s attorney argued the man was not guilty by reason of insanity, but the judge found him guilty of second-degree murder, according to a release from the district attorney’s office.
Goeser, along with his wife Nikki Goeser, worked a karaoke job inside Jonny’s Sports Bar in South Nashville the night of April 2, 2009. Wise, who had had previous encounters with the Goesers, was there that night, but restaurant management asked him to leave at the request of Nikki, who later became a proponent of gun carry permit rights.
After being told to leave, Wise drew a gun and shot Ben Goeser several times, killing him.
Testimony during the trial indicated that Wise suffered from a mental illness of delusional disorder, according to a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. He apparently thought the Goesers were using the Internet to try to discredit him.
A grand jury indicted the 46-year-old Wise on a first-degree murder charge in 2009, but Norman found him guilty of the lesser, second-degree, charge.