Man who shot, killed DJ in 2009 restaurant shooting sentenced to 23 years

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 4:06pm
Staff reports

Hank Wise, the 47-year-old man previously found guilty of killing karaoke disc jockey Ben Goeser in 2009, was sentenced to 23 years in prison Wednesday morning.

Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Seth Norman issued the sentence after finding Wise guilty of second-degree murder in a bench trial in April.

Goeser worked with his wife inside Jonny’s Sports Bar in South Nashville on April 2, 2009, when Wise — who had had previous run-ins with the couple and had been asked to leave Jonny’s that night — approached Goeser and shot him multiple times, killing him.

During Wednesday morning’s sentencing hearing, the judge heard testimony from Goeser’s wife, daughter and a friend about how his death has impacted their lives, according to the district attorney’s office. A psychiatrist also testified that Wise has a delusion disorder.

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18 Comments on this post:

By: parnell3rd on 8/22/12 at 8:11

WOW! A person's life is only worth 23 years in prison in Nashville, TN. That does not seem fair to the victim's family. Sounds like a light sentance to me.

By: Ask01 on 8/23/12 at 4:46

It is a light sentence, parnell3rd. Now if the victim had been a police officer, not just some common citizen, all the stops would have been pulled out to obtain a death penalty.

The message is clear, our lives are just not as valuable.

By: standingonthetop on 8/23/12 at 8:51

Although I agree that the case is horrificly tragic. the law stipulates different sentencing parameters for murder in the first degree, 2nd degree murder etc. Judge Norman is a VERY conscientious Judge. I can all but guarantee that he sentenced the defendant with the upmost consideration of the facts of the case.

Secondly, although your comment is designed to be an unfair example to be yet another "shot" at law enforcement, I will tell you why if a police officer is murdered the prosecution seeks a capital murder conviction...it's because that person who kills a POLICE OFFICER is extraordinarily dangerous to society. If they are dangerous and crazy enough to kill a cop...they wouldn't think twice a bout killing a civillian. It's NOT a question of a police officer's life being worth more...it's actually the opposite and civillians given an extra consideration for overall protection.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/23/12 at 8:54

Well said, standing. I disagree with the sentencing guidelines here in TN. The judge has to work within the limits of the guidelines. This guy will actually only serve 30% of his sentence and perhaps less with good behavior. We need to work to change our sentencing guidelines!

By: sonny1024 on 8/23/12 at 9:20

I agree with ask01 that if he had been a cop then the state would be seeking the death penalty.why is it if I assault someone I am arrested on the spot but when a cop assaults some citizen it takes months to investigate and if he is found guilty its a paid vacation as punishment while I am in jail or own probation for the same charge.so my question is WHEN DID POLICE OFFICERS BECOME SPECIAL OR BETTER THEN THE CITIZENS? JUST THOUGHT i WOULD ASK

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/23/12 at 9:21

Because they are hired to serve and protect. I understand why there is stronger sentencing for police officers.

By: standingonthetop on 8/23/12 at 3:34

Sonny1024...quit hatin' on the PD because you got arrested!

What you're saying is COMPLETELY untrue. If you had been paying attention to the headlines at all, you'd see that a Metro Police Officer was just charged with Domestic Assault. The difference between him and you is actually the following...HE is assured to be prosecuted because there is a stipulation in the law that REQUIRES he be prosecuted to prevent EXACTLY what you are claiming. Also, he is made a public spectacle, whereas YOUR arrest isn't necessarily news. HE loses his job if convicted...unless it is your private employer's policy to terminate for a conviction, you keep YOUR job.

Is there anything else YOU screwed up in your life you wanna try to blame on the police? Just wonderin'.

By: Ask01 on 8/23/12 at 9:04

While it is true a law enforcement employee, (that's all they are, you realize,) can face much more serious consequences if they indeed are ever punished for misdeeds, and their antics are news, (check out the website whentennesseepigsfly to stay up to date on officer mischief) I wonder how many times the good ole boy netwrok protects them unless the situation has spiraled beyond their ability to manipulate the system.

I recommend everyone read Norm Stamper's book, "Breaking Rank." Mr. Stamper is a former officer, in fact, a former chief who tells all about all manner of police misconduct. Really interesting and down right frightening on some levels.

Oh, by the way, don't you agree it is using a very sophmoric tactic to accuse someone who criticizes police of having been arrested?

Some citizens have a very legitimate fear of being in a police state where the phrase "Papers, please" becomes more than a cheap punchline.

By: tourniquet on 8/24/12 at 7:42

The 2nd degree murder conviction is a 100% crime. The defendant is not eligible for parole at 30%.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 9:24

That's good to hear, tourniquet! I didn't realize that! Is attempted murder also a 100% crime? I know that the sentencing in some states allows attempted to have the same sentencing as murder.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 9:25

I'm glad that he wasn't able to take a plea deal.

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 10:41

He was not charged with any of the dozens of stupid gun laws he broke by carrying and discharging the firearm inside Jonny's that night.

Gun laws serve only to dissuade law abiding citizens from being able to defend themselves from maniacs like this.

I was sitting at the bar when the shooting broke out and all I could think was how naked I felt without my Glock right then.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 1:36

Was he not charged or were the charges dismissed?

By: standingonthetop on 8/25/12 at 11:49

Hey ASK01...

It's not as Sophomoric as telling you to lick these sophomoric nuts you Liberal ****tard!

How 'bout that?...you JAGOFF!

By: standingonthetop on 8/25/12 at 11:58

All you COWARD Liberal f**ktards just love to take a shot at the police and law and order every chance you get because that's what COWARD pieces of shit like YOU do! You don't have the GUTS to run your dicksucker to a cop in person because you're a spineless COWARD example of what a MAN isn't!

If you live with your parents, no job having, take a bath every three days, dope smoking, useless dirt head, little BITCHES spent as much time trying to make something out of yourself as you do bitching and boo-hooing...you'd be a LOT better off!

By: Ask01 on 8/26/12 at 7:11

I have exciting evidence to confirm Neanderthals did in fact not go extinct as presumed.

There are those walking (barely) among us who exhibit the stunted social and intellectual development, limited vocabulary, and propensity for violent outburst which have long been theorized to characterize the sub species.

I present the proof.

"new
By: standingonthetop on 8/25/12 at 11:49
Hey ASK01...

It's not as Sophomoric as telling you to lick these sophomoric nuts you Liberal ****tard!

How 'bout that?...you JAGOFF!"

If further proof is needed just check some of the more poorly written, vulgar comments which grace this site daily.

By: Ask01 on 8/26/12 at 7:19

I have to ask, what sort of user name is "standingonthetop?"

On top of what, a dung heap, judging from the malodorous scent, or perhaps an anthill considering the limited vision expressed.

Name calling, particularly uninspired and unimaginative name calling, at an elementary school level speaks volumes.

I believe we know now who is actually still living at home, bathless, smoking dope while viewing constant reruns of cop shows fantasizing about bullying people to raise their own abysmal self esteem.

By: yucchhii on 8/29/12 at 12:09

I must say first off that I knew the victim and his wife. Both were very friendly people who wouldn't think of doing anyone wrong. Obviously, when you are put in a position that you HAVE to tell someone they are wrong and that they have to leave because they ARE in the wrong and someone gets angry and wants to do harm, then there ismost definately something mentally wrong with that person. BUT, that don'tmean that person should get a light punishment after killing someone.

There are people out there that should consider themselves that someone like MY parents aren't running things, They believe that if you kill someone by stabbing someone 20 times in the face, then you should die the SAME way as you kill your victim. I say they're right!!
I do agree that somemay say that I am emotional aboutmy friends death and that's why I feel this way. BUT, I still agree with my parents!!