Following his acquittal in the Kaufman murder case, James Cowan remains in custody on federal charges

US attorney files paperwork to prosecute for guns and drugs
james cowan
Posted at 1:19 PM, Feb 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-06 23:06:24-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Innocent of murder — but still locked up. James Cowan, the man found not guilty in the death of Caitlyn Kaufman, remains in jail.

A Davidson County jury may have cleared him, but the U.S. Attorney's Office has now filed paperwork with a plan to prosecute and send him to prison.

The Kaufman verdict was split, to the surprise of some. One defendant, Devaunte Hill, was convicted in the death of the 26-year-old nurse. The other — acquitted.

But Cowan is not going home.

The jury last week did convict Hill of second-degree murder for the road rage shooting of Kaufman. He faces up to 25 years in prison at sentencing.

But, the jury found Cowan — the driver of the car — not guilty. A complete acquittal.

Some wondered if Cowan would be immediately released from the Davidson County jail after spending the past two years behind bars awaiting trial.

That didn't happen and Cowan is not expected to be released anytime soon.

When Metro Police arrested Cowan for Kaufman's murder they caught him with narcotics and guns.

This is a man who was already a convicted felon from a robbery conviction.

So, in addition to the Kaufman murder, Cowan faced drug and felon in possession of a gun charges.

Yes, the jury cleared him in the Kaufman case, but the other charges remain. Now the U.S. Attorney will prosecute in federal court.

Prosecutors have asked that Cowan not be released while awaiting trial, arguing he's such a danger that there is no way to "assure the safety of any other person and the community."

So Cowan will now be transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

If convicted of the gun and drug charges, he faces up to 25 years in federal prison, which is more time than Hill will face for the murder of Kaufman.

Hill will be sentenced in March for the Kaufman murder conviction.

No date has been set for Cowan's trial, which could be several months down the road.

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