A Washington County, Tennessee School Board member arrested for allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend said he’s being framed and has evidence to prove it.
The alleged victim, whose name News Channel 11 is not releasing at this time, declined an interview request but her attorney, Donna Bolton, said they too have evidence to support her claims.
“I think this was just because she thought I was seeing somebody else,“ said Hammond in an interview following his arraignment Monday.
The woman told Johnson City Police Thursday night that escalating relationship problems led to Hammond grabbing and pushing her two days prior. According to the police report, she showed the officer bruises on her arms and torso.
“I never touched her, I may have moved her out of the way,“ said Hammond. “A few weeks ago she had complained about easy bruising…she had said that she was anemic and dehydrated.“
The report said the woman called police after Hammond assaulted her again. She said the confrontation that night started due to Hammond’s alcohol and drug use.
“You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that’s even seen me slightly buzzed, not to say I haven’t had a drink before but anytime I will take a drug test or a lie detector test,“ said Hammond.
Hammond said he left the woman at his own home Thursday to get away from her.
The police report said Hammond later called the woman, who let an officer listen in on the call. “The suspect was heavily slurred and sounded extremely intoxicated,“ the report said.
“There’s no record from Sprint on my phone that I made a phone call during the time the police were there. If I did, it’s not showing up and it was an accidental dial,“ said Hammond.
Hammond said he wasn’t too intoxicated to remember the call.
When asked if he thought police were lying about overhearing the phone call, he said, “I do not question the police officer, I do question some of the methods. I think anytime before you make an arrest both parties should be contacted,“ said Hammond. “There needs to be time taken to find the truth.“
Hammond was arrested Friday just after 12 PM at Restore Community Church in Johnson City after he admittedly refused to answer the door for police at about 3 AM Friday morning. Hammond said he thought it was the woman setting him up.
He was transported to the Washington County Detention Center Friday on the warrant for simple assault-domestic.
As legal proceedings continue, Hammond believes he’s still fit to serve on the Washington County School Board. “I don’t think I should be judged on hearsay but by actions,“said Hammond.
Hammond has been a member of the board since 2010.
Washington County School Board Chairman Keith Ervin said in a phone interview that he’s withholding judgment on the incident, since it’s still unclear what happened.
Hammond is due back in court on April 22nd at 9am.