Washington Co. school board member’s phone recordings could spark further investigation

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- A Washington County, Tennessee school board member charged with the assault of his girlfriend gave News Channel 11 a recording he claimed showed inconsistencies in the events leading up to his arrest last week.

David Hammond was arraigned in court Monday for an assault he claimed he did not commit.

Hammond said he recorded a phone conversation with the alleged victim and her friend on Saturday, March 23rd, the day after Hammond was arrested. 

Hammond said the girls reached out to him so he didn’t think it would be a violation of the protection order to respond. The order was filed on March 22nd. 

“I try to get away from her every time, she was smothering me to death. She’s the one that had been drinking,” said Hammond to the unidentified friend, in reference to the night of the alleged assault. 

Hammond proceeds to talk to his former girlfriend about the police pursuit that unfolded and the police reports that followed. 

“I’ve seen like three different reports and none of them make any sense whatsoever,” said the woman. 

“Well then how do you plan to rectify that because I’m being bashed all over Facebook,” said Hammond. “Do you realize I have videos that can really hurt your brother, really hurt you, I mean hurt your daughters.”

After listening to the recording, Washington County Assistant District Attorney Justin Irick said local law enforcement would have to investigate the matter further before the office could form an opinion on whether that statement is grounds for an additional charge against Hammond, such as coercion of a witness or extortion. 

“There needs to be a follow-up investigation to sort of get the context as to what’s going on in these conversations,” said Irick. “So we don’t have an opinion one way or the other as to whether or not this is a crime or what crime it is if it does rise to the level of a crime.” 

In a phone interview late Tuesday evening, Hammond further explained his statement. 

“That was a poor choice of words,” Hammond said. 

He said the videos he was referring to in the phone call show his former girlfriend saying she would f*** him over if he left her. 

“There are several videos when she started acting bizarre or having too much to drink,” he said. “I wasn’t out to destroy anyone I was trying to defend myself.” 

When asked why he said the videos would hurt her brother and her daughters, Hammond said, “Anytime the parents are humiliated publically it’s going to hurt the family.”

The alleged victim and her attorney, Donna Bolton, declined to interview about the matter Tuesday. Bolton said they’ll be submitting more video, audio and photographic evidence of Hammond threatening the woman to the DA’s office. 

Bolton said their evidence makes it clear that Hammond’s intimidation started long before the assault that led to his arrest. 

Hammond is due back in court April 22nd. 

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