The trial for the murder of Nashville nurse Caitlyn Kaufman is scheduled to begin in two weeks and attorneys are working to finalize important details about the case.
(photo via Kaufman’s obituary)
Kaufman, a 26-year-old ICU nurse at Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, was murdered while driving to work on December 3, 2020. At least six bullets were fired into her vehicle, one of them fatally wounding Kaufman. She managed to pull over to the side of the interstate but was unable to call 911 before she died. According to the medical examiner, Kaufman died within 15 seconds of being shot. Her body was found by a patrolling police officer three hours later.
Kaufman’s SUV (photo via CBS News)
Originally from Butler, Pennsylvania, Kaufman moved to Nashville in 2018 to pursue her nursing career. She was a two-time Daisy Award winner.
Eight days after Kaufman’s death, police arrested two suspects thanks to a tip from a confidential informant: 21-year-old Devaunte Hill and 28-year-old James Cowan. Both suspects have remained in custody without bond since their arrest.
Devaunte Hill (left) and James Cowan. (photo via Nashville PD)
Because there is a gag order currently in place, little information has been released publicly about the case. The motive for the killing is still a matter of speculation, but, based on information provided by an informant, investigators suspect road rage may have played a part. It is unclear whether the suspects knew the victim.
Still, emotions surrounding the case are running high. Kaufman’s father was documented lunging at the suspects as they entered the courtroom during a November hearing. Security is expected to be increased for the high-profile trial.
Although the district attorney is not pursuing the death penalty, it seems highly unlikely that a plea deal will take place. The case is expected to finally go to trial, two years after the murder took place.
Jury selection for the trial is anticipated to begin on January 23.