Attorney: Defendant shot Caitlyn Kaufman in fit of rage

Proceeds from a Pioneer Pursuit Fall 2022 on Sept. 24 at Butler County Community College will benefit the Caitlyn Kaufman ’18 Legacy Nursing Scholarship available from the BC3 Education Foundation. Kaufman, formerly of Chicora and a 2012 graduate of Butler Senior High School, earned an associate degree in Nursing, from BC3 in 2018. She was killed in 2020 in Tennessee. SUBMITTED PHOTO

One of the defendants on trial in Tennessee for first degree murder in the December 2020 death of Butler County native Caitlyn Kaufman shot and killed her in a fit of road rage, a defense attorney said Wednesday.

Devaunte Hill, 23, of Tennessee shot and killed Kaufman from a car being driven by co-defendant James Cowan, 29, also of Tennessee in a road rage incident on Interstate 440 in Nashville on Dec. 3, said Georgia Sims, the Davidson County assistant deputy who is representing Hill, in her opening statement to the jury.

Kaufman, 26, of Chicora was driving from her home in Lebanon, Tenn. to St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville where she worked as an intensive care nurse when the shooting occurred around 6 p.m.

Sims told the jury that shooting at Kaufman’s vehicle was a “gross over reaction” by Hill to Kaufman cutting off him and Cowan in traffic.

She said Hill is not guilty of first degree murder because he did not act with “conscious desire” to end her life. She asked the jury to serve Hill with justice and not vengeance.

Kaufman’s mother Diane Kaufman and one of Kaufman’s co-workers testified after opening arguments were completed Wednesday. The jury was selected Monday and Tuesday.

The trial in Davidson County Court is expected to last at least a week.

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