NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – December 29, 2020 – An inmate at the Tennessee Department of Correction has been charged with using the U.S. Mail to harass and intimidate the widow of a man he murdered in 2009, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
A criminal complaint unsealed today charged Hank Wise, 55, with mail stalking, after sending numerous letters and other communications to the woman through her attorney.
“We owe a duty to victims of crime to ensure that they will not continue to be subjected to cruel acts which cause emotional distress as alleged here,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran. “We simply will not stand for this.”
On April 2, 2009, while at the Buck Wild Saloon in Nashville, Wise shot and killed a man identified in the complaint as “B.G.” in front of his wife. In April 2012, Wise was convicted of second degree murder in Davidson County Criminal Court and subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison.
While in prison, beginning in approximately 2011, Wise began sending letters to the victim’s widow, through her attorney, which lasted until 2017. The communications were also in the form of holiday cards such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day and contained romantic overtures, professing his love for her and telling her that he thinks about her every day.
Wise continued to send letters and cards intended for the woman through her attorney until 2017. Although initially aware of the communications, the woman asked her attorney not to notify her of any subsequent letters after 2012. After 2012, the attorney continued to receive letters from Wise, intended for the woman, but in keeping with his client’s wishes, he did not share the communications with her until sometime in 2019. The woman was highly distressed when she learned of the continued attempts by Wise to communicate with her.
Wise made an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge this afternoon. If convicted of this charge, he faces up to five years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. McGuire.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Wise is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.