Man Gets 25 Years in Roadside Killing of Tennessee Nurse

Man Gets 25 Years in Roadside Killing of Tennessee Nurse
Devaunte Lewis Hill. (Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The man who shot and killed a Tennessee nurse as she was driving to work two years ago was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday, according to the Nashville district attorney’s office.

In January, a jury found Devaunte Hill guilty of murder in the death of 26-year-old Caitlyn Kaufman. At trial, Hill admitted to killing Kaufman on Dec. 3, 2020, as she drove to St. Thomas West Hospital shortly after 6:00 p.m.

Hill testified that he had been using drugs when he got in the car with co-defendant James Cowan to go pick up Cowan’s girlfriend. While on the interstate, Kaufman cut them off, and “Cowan hit the brakes and it startled me,” Hill testified. “I remember picking up the gun and firing the shots, but I couldn’t recall in that moment how many shots I’d fired.”

A single bullet—one of six fired at her—killed Kaufman, according to testimony.

Kaufman’s Mazda CX-5 SUV was discovered wrecked along Interstate 440 around 9 p.m. by a Metro Parks officer who thought it was a single-vehicle wreck. He discovered the car riddled with bullets and Kaufman dead inside.

The jury acquitted Cowan, who said he was merely the driver and had no role in the shooting. Neither man knew Kaufman.

Kaufman was from Chicora, Pennsylvania, a small town in Butler County that sits 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh. She moved to Nashville in 2018 after accepting a job, family has said, fulfilling her longtime desire to live in the city.