Judge finds man guilty in 2009 karaoke DJ murder

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 3:41pm
Staff reports

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.

3 Comments on this post:

By: nashmusic2244 on 4/11/12 at 4:07

So let's see:
If I shoot and kill someone because I think they are discrediting me in any fashion, I can GET AWAY WITH KILLING THEM when I plead and am found mentally ill?

Isn't KILLING SOMEONE ALREADY a mental defect?

Wise should have gotten the death penalty but in the latter case, should spend a considerable time in prison.......

By: yucchhii on 4/12/12 at 8:51

yucchhii I knew both Ben and Nikki. It was a MAJOR surprise to me when I heard the news of Bens murder. Ok, so the man who shot him was mentally ill, so that means that he gets off totally after 15-20 years? He gets to roam the streets again after that? There are people that have commited far less than murder and get MORE time than that! The JUDGE must be MENTALLY ILL TOO!!! HE needs to be evaluated metally too!!! If there is to be no death penalty, then he needs to be put away for the rest of his days!!! I do miss Ben. This is not just to SAY that Ben was a cool guy...He REALLY WAS!! Nikki, if you should read this, MUCH LOVE TO YA and I pray for you! Yes, this is PETER O who said that!! God Bless you Nikki!!!

By: BenDover on 4/13/12 at 1:15

I was there that night. Terrible incident. He should have gone down for Murder 1.

And Workman should have gotten his retrial on the felony murder evidence before he was executed.

No justice in TN anymore.