Trials & Litigation

'Mom does what I say or Mom gets the fist,' testifies paralyzed son at her attempted-murder trial

Kevin Cooney testified on his mother’s behalf in her Florida first-degree murder trial over the slaying of his father, when he was 11 years old.

And, as an adult, he did so again on Monday, telling a Nevada jury in the attempted murder case she is now facing that Linda Cooney, 66, shot him in self-defense after he attacked her and threatened to kill her, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Mom does what I say or Mom gets the fist,” said Kevin Cooney at one point during his hour-long testimony in the Las Vegas trial, as he described his relationship with his mother. “I was a jerk, a bully,” he said, explaining that he had beaten her before she shot him in June 2011 as they argued over his girlfriend.

At another point, Cooney, who is being treated for an illness, spoke to her directly from the hospital bed on which he testified by video conference, tearfully saying “I’m so sorry, Mom. I’m sorry.”

Initially, authorities arrested Kevin Cooney on domestic violence charges after his mother shot him with the same .357 handgun with which she had killed her ex-husband years ago, the newspaper says. An earlier Las Vegas Review-Journal article reported that Linda Cooney’s other son, who works as a Las Vegas police officer, testified the attack took place at the family’s Summerlin home. Christopher Cooney said that his brother Kevin attacked their mother while she was asleep on the living room sofa.

But those charges were dropped when investigators decided that Linda Cooney was criminally culpable for shooting and paralyzing her son, who is three inches short of seven feet tall and has worked as a bouncer at Las Vegas nightclubs.

Linda Cooney is now charged with attempted murder, battery with use of a deadly weapon, intimidating a witness and stalking her son’s former girlfriend, Karina Taylor. If convicted, she will face between three and 65 years in prison.

Until Monday, prosecutors reportedly didn’t know what Kevin Cooney was going say on the stand, because he has refused to cooperate with investigators. Other prosecution witnesses say Kevin Cooney told them after the shooting he was afraid of his mother, the Review-Journal reports.

In 1992, his testimony helped her win an acquittal in the Florida first-degree murder case on self-defense grounds. It remains to be seen whether Kevin Cooney’s account of what happened will achieve the same result this time around.

See also: “Son whose testimony helped mom beat murder charge is a witness in her new case over his own shooting”

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