Evidence

Son whose testimony helped mom beat murder charge is a witness in her new case over his own shooting


More than two decades ago, when Kevin Cooney was 11 years old, he testified on his mother’s behalf in a Florida first-degree murder trial.

Linda Cooney was acquitted in the death of her husband, James Cooney, who she said she had shot in self-defense when he attacked her at home with a kitchen knife. Her son originally told investigators his father wasn’t holding anything, but testified at trial that he had seen his dad holding something shiny, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Now the 66-year-old woman is facing another criminal trial, in Nevada, and Kevin Cooney is again a witness. The issue: Did Linda Cooney act in self-defense when she shot Kevin Cooney with the same .357 caliber handgun she used to kill James Cooney?

Kevin Cooney hasn’t cooperated with law enforcement in the new case against his mom, so it isn’t known how he will testify, the newspaper says. However, Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Staudaher intends to call him as a prosecution witness. And the judge in the Las Vegas case has ruled that the government can introduce evidence from the Florida murder case during the Clark County trial, for which jury selection began Monday.

After the 2011 shooting, Kevin Cooney was diagnosed as an incomplete quadriplegic, paralyzed but with some arm and leg movement.

He and his mother were arguing over his girlfriend on the day of the shooting, according to testimony and court documents. Linda Cooney told police her 6-foot-9-inch son, who formerly worked as a nightclub doorman and bouncer, punched her in the chest.

Meanwhile, she has been charged, tried, convicted and jailed for 90 days for misdemeanor battery, the newspaper reports. That case concerned Linda Cooney’s attack on her son’s girlfriend while both women were visiting him in the hospital.

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