Sentencing hearing held for man convicted of killing Butler County nurse in road rage shooting
The man convicted of killing a nurse from Butler County appeared in a Tennessee courtroom for a sentencing hearing on Friday.
Devaunte Hill faces 15 to 25 years in prison for the road rage murder of Caitlyn Kaufman.
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After hearing testimony, the judge opted to hold off on issuing a sentence.
Kaufman was on her way to a nursing shift in Nashville in December of 2020 when Hill fatally shot her.
During Friday’s hearing, Kaufman’s mother took the stand, describing her daughter as a loving person and a dedicated ICU nurse amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Caitlyn was the type of person you never forget. You only had to meet her once and you’d remember her,” her mom said, through tears. “She made you feel special, and she made you feel loved. She always saw the good in people, even when they weren’t worthy of it. She held out hope for them.”
Directing her comments to Hill, she said, Caitlyn “was stronger than I am, because I don’t know that I will ever be able to forgive you.”
Hill was convicted of second degree murder earlier this year. The driver of the vehicle he had been in at the time of the murder, James Cowan, was found not guilty.
“I have to ask myself how the members of the jury will feel when Mr. Hill and Cowan kill again,” the victim’s mother said. “The defendant stole my daughter’s life. They get to live. My daughter doesn’t.”
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She asked the judge to give Hill the maximum sentence. His attorney, stating that Hill is a father who should be present for his children, argued for the minimum.
Years before Hill killed Kaufman, he shot his own grandmother, sibling and nephew over not wanting to go to school, according to testimony.
During the hearing, his sister took the stand, indicating that her brother struggled with anger issues growing up, having had parents in and out of jail. It was noted that Hill had been attacked by dogs as a child, and had been shot as a teen.
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“Once he had got shot you could tell it got worser,” his sister said.
Hill, too, took the stand.
“I know I made an irrational and dumb decision and I’d like to apologize to Miss Kaufman’s family.”
The judge said she will issue a ruling in writing after March 10.
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