GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The man convicted of killing a 12-year-old Goodlettsville girl in 2017 teared up as the jury found him guilty on Monday afternoon.
Yhoana Arteaga was found dead inside her home two years ago. Prosecutors said Ray Coons Jr. tried to rape the girl and strangled her to death with a karate belt.
During the course of the trial, Arteaga’s mother delivered emotional testimony and broke down on the witness stand as she recounted arriving home and finding her daughter’s lifeless body.
Using a translator, Artega’s other identified Coons as the man who had previously done landscaping for the family for two months prior to the murder.
Detectives said around 4 p.m. on the day of the murder, Artega texted her mother to say someone is at the door and “I think it’s the man who cuts the yard.”
Artega’s mother and siblings came home from work on August 10, 2017, to find her daughter strangled inside their mobile home on Old Dickerson Pike. Police called her killing “brutal.”
Coons was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of first-degree felony murder, attempted rape of a child and especially aggravated burglary.
As the verdict was read, Coons was seen shaking his head and tearing up inside the courtroom.
“Before they brought forth all of the evidence, before he was found guilty, one of the things I would have liked to see from him would have been a little bit of remorse, some kind of feelings where he felt bad guilty for what he did,” the girl’s mother said after the verdict was read.
Coons will be sentenced in September.