NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After about six hours of deliberations and closing arguments, the jurors in the murder trial of Caitlyn Kaufman were sent home Monday evening.
Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman began closing arguments by walking the jurors through day Kaufman was killed on I-440 while driving to work.
“This is about Caitlyn Kaufman, it’s about her murder,” Norman said. “She is just driving to work when two men who are strangers to her, strangers, people she doesn’t know at all, they both decided to gun her down because she cut them off.”
Admitted-shooter Devaunte Hill’s attorney repeated that while his client pulled the trigger, it was not a premeditated act.
“It’s a family’s worst nightmare. It’s impossible to comprehend the emotions they’ve endured and still endured,” said Public Defender Jason Chaffin. “Devaunte Hill committed a crime, but he didn’t intend to kill. Some of his actions were unjustifiable and thoughtless, but he didn’t intend to kill her.”
The alleged-driver’s attorney spent closing arguments focusing on what he said was the lack of evidence against his client.
“No proof that he solicited, ordered, directed, commanded, or helped anybody kill anybody. In fact, you heard no proof he knew anybody was going to be killed,” said James Cowan’s attorney Ron Munkeboe.
Norman preempted that argument from Munkeboe by arguing it took two people to kill Kaufman.
“Cowan had the power and control to allow this shooting to occur or to stop it,” Norman said.
While not associated with this case, criminal trial attorney Ben Powers said the jury has a hard task ahead.
“I think they have their work cut out for them with regard to the driver,” Powers explained. “With the driver it’s a more complicated question. What did he know and when and what participation did he intend to have?”
Jurors are now left to decide if the murder was premeditated as both Hill and James Cowan face first degree murder charges. Cowan was seen holding a small Bible throughout much of the closing arguments. If found guilty, they could face life in prison without parole. Jurors are set to return at 9 a.m. Tuesday, weather permitting.