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Suspect in deadly shooting of nurse facing federal charges

James Edward Cowan
Posted at 9:19 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 22:20:37-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The suspect in the deadly shooting of Nashville nurse Caitlyn Kaufman is now facing federal drug and gun charges.

U.S. Attorney Don Cochran announced the charges Tuesday against 28-year-old James Edward Cowan, who was also known as James Lillard.

Cowan was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Metro Police officers arrested him on Jan. 12, for allegedly being with Devaunte Hill when shots were fired from their vehicle into Kaufman’s car on I-440. Hill was arrested on December 11 and implicated himself in Kaufman’s murder.

After the arrest, detectives found Xanax pills and fentanyl and more than $2,100 cash in his pockets. They also found more pills, other controlled substances a Glock pistol with an extended magazine and a .45 caliber handgun in the vehicle he was using.

The driver of the car told detectives that the drugs and guns belonged to Cowan and acknowledged knowing that Cowan was wanted for homicide, according to the complaint. The driver was subsequently charged by the MNPD for aiding Cowan in eluding law enforcement.

Cowan was previously convicted for robbery in Davidson County, Tennessee in 2011 and was sentenced to six years’ incarceration. If convicted of the instant federal offenses, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to life in prison.