Man Jailed for 25 Years Over Roadside Murder of ICU Nurse in Tennessee

26-year-old nurse Caitlyn Kaufman was shot dead while driving to work at St. Thomas West Hospital, Nashville in December 2020

Caitlyn Kaufman
Photo: Facebook

A man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the fatal 2020 shooting of a 26-year-old nurse in Tennessee.

Devaunte Hill, who was convicted of the second-degree murder of Caitlyn Kaufman in January, was sentenced at Davidson County Criminal Court on Wednesday.

He previously confessed to killing Kaufman while they were both on the Nashville interstate highway, per ABC News. His friend and co-defendant, James Cowan, who was driving the car containing Hill, was acquitted by the jury. Neither Hill nor Cowan knew Kaufman.

Despite asking for leniency after admitting to the crime, Hill received the maximum sentence of 25 years, The Tennessean reported.

During the trial, Hill testified that he had been using drugs while in the car with Cowan. As they were driving on the interstate, Kaufman — on her way to a night shift at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville — cut Cowan's car off, reported ABC News.

"Cowan hit the brakes and it startled me," Hill testified per the outlet. "I remember picking up the gun and firing the shots, but I couldn't recall in that moment how many shots I'd fired."

Six shots were fired, and just one killed Kaufman, added ABC News.

Devaunte Hill listens as witnesses give impact statements during his sentencing hearing after being convicted of second-degree murder of Caitlyn Kaufman in 2020 at the Justice A.A. Birch Building Friday, March 3, 2023 in Nashville, Tenn.
George Walker IV/The Tennessean/USA TODAY NETWORK

Kaufman had been working in the Intensive Care unit of St. Thomas since 2018 prior to her death, her Facebook page stated.

"She was a dedicated and much loved member of our MICU team and a courageous health care hero who was graciously called to serve our patients with compassion and kindness," the hospital's spokesperson Michelle Heard said in a statement to The Tennessean at the time.

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During an earlier hearing in March, Hill apologized to Kaufman's family for his actions, the outlet reported.

"I know I made an irrational and dumb decision and I really would just like to apologize to Ms. Kaufman's family for my stupid behavior," he said. "I'm sorry my irrational decision resulted in the death of your daughter. She didn't deserve to die."

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