Detective: Nurse murder suspect held gang-themed birthday party


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — New details about the lifestyle behind one of the men facing criminal homicide charges in the death of Nashville nurse Caitlyn Kaufman emerged Monday in court. That’s where James Cowan and his girlfriend Dimeneshia Carter faced a judge.

Investigators believe Cowan was driving the vehicle the shots were fired from when Kaufman was killed December 3, 2020.

On Monday, detectives explained how cell phone technology played a significant role as undercover agents tracked Cowan down more than a month later at a hotel on Sidco Drive.

“We had electronic surveillance and that was putting Cowan at that location,” an undercover agent explained from the stand.

Detectives say they watched as Cowan took off in a rental car with his girlfriend 21-year-old Carter and their baby. They followed and continued to ping Cowan’s phone tracking him to the Hickory Hollow Place apartment complex.

During Cowan’s arrest, Metro Police said they discovered a “substantial” amount of drugs, along with cash and two guns.

Carter was brought into the police station where detectives say she admitted to staying with Cowan and providing him transportation despite knowing he was wanted for the murder of Caitlyn Kaufman.

A search of Carter’s phone showed a glimpse into how the couple was living.

“(We) were able to see some still shots and some videos where they are riding around together. Mr. Cowan is flashing multiple firearms in the car. Usually she’s driving, he has a pistol in his hand,” Detective Chris Dickerson told the Judge.

He also explained that they found images from a gang-themed birthday party that Cowan recently celebrated.

“He recently had a birthday party, I believe in December, and you see him in there with guns, holding what could be narcotics. I can’t say for sure, but it looked to be and it’s on her phone. The videos and pictures,” he said.

The state followed up asking if there was a particular theme or birthday cake.

He answered, “It was, it said Crip on there, had a blue bandana, had two hands on there making gang symbols on there as well. It was a Crip theme birthday party.”

The Judge bound warrants for both Carter and Cowan over to the grand jury, declining requests to reduce bond.

While Cowan faces a criminal homicide charge, Carter is charged with accessory after the fact. Devaunte Hill who is also facing a charge of criminal homicide for the murder of Kaufman, remains behind bars without bond.

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