Shooter Admits Guilt and Pleads Mid-Trial

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Career Gang Unit obtained convictions against a man who shot at the home of his ex-girlfriend on two occasions.  James Henry Coney, Jr., 35, was facing trial in front of a Knox County jury when at the close of the State’s proof, he asked to plead guilty.  Coney then pled guilty to five counts of Attempted First Degree Murder, two counts of Reckless Endangerment, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Evading Arrest.  Judge Scott Green imposed a sentence of twenty years to serve in the Tennessee Department of Correction.

In a three-day trial, Assistant District Attorneys TaKisha Fitzgerald and Larry Dillon explained to the jury that on April 9, 2020, at around 3:00 AM, Coney traveled to his ex-girlfriend’s home in South Knoxville and fired eight rounds into the home that was occupied by five people, including a five-year-old child, before he fled the scene.  Knoxville Police Department officers responded to the scene, collected ballistics evidence, and recovered a laser sight that had fallen off Coney’s firearm.  Two days later at around 6:00 AM, Coney again went to the victim’s home and fired shots into the residence.  Later that day, officers with KPD’s Violence Reduction Team located Coney at Wal-Mart on Kinzel Way.  When taken into custody, Coney was in possession of a .45 caliber Glock handgun and a brand-new laser sight he had just purchased.  KPD Sgt. Brian Dalton testified that the ballistics evidence recovered from the shooting scene matched the ballistic characteristics of the Glock possessed by Coney.

“With the increase in homicides we saw last year, my Office will continue to aggressively prosecute gun violence in order to keep our community safe,” said DA Charme Allen. 

After Coney pled guilty, the victims in the case provided victim impact statements describing to the Court how this crime has affected their lives.  Coney has been identified as a member of the 52 Hoover Crips street gang.  Assistant Victim Witness Coordinator Sheri Burkett aided in the prosecution of this case.  

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or [email protected]. For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at dag.knoxcountytn.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.