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Jury selection completed on second day of Kaufman murder trial

A jury has been selected in the Caitlyn Kaufman murder trial. Kaufman, a 26-year-old Nashville nurse, was fatally shot Dec. 3, 2020, on her way to work. She is a Butler Area High School and Butler County Community College graduate. Submitted photo

A jury was selected Tuesday in a Nashville, Tenn., courthouse on the second day of the trial for two men charged in the December 2020 shooting death of Butler County native Caitlyn Kaufman.

James Cowan, 29, and Devaunte Hill, 23, were indicted by a grand jury and are facing first degree murder charges in Kaufman’s Dec. 3 death.

The jury was selected from a local pool and will not be sequestered during the trial, according to news media reports.

In a possible case of road rage, Kaufman, 26, of Chicora, was shot while driving on Interstate 440 in Nashville from her home in Lebanon, Tenn., to St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, where she worked as an intensive care nurse.

The shooting is believed to have taken place around 6 p.m. A police officer found Kaufman’s vehicle on the shoulder of the highway around 9 p.m. She died at the scene.

Police have recovered the 9 mm handgun used in the shooting. Ballistic tests on the gun matched shell casing found on the highway where Kaufman was shot.

Hill was arrested Dec. 11, 2020, and Cowan was arrested Jan. 13, 2021.

The attorneys representing Cowan and Hill and a prosecutor from the Nashville District Attorney’s Office are expected to make opening statements after the jury is selected. The trial in Davidson County Court is expected to last at least a week.

Cowan has a history that includes being sentenced to six years in prison for a robbery conviction as well as other convictions in Tennessee, according to court records. Hill has an assault case pending against him. They are being held without bail in the Kaufman case.

The judge in the case ruled Monday that prosecutors can ask Cowan about those previous convictions if he testifies.

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