No Gun Residue Found On Jacob Coyne, Though Witness Says He Was The Shooter In Jalen Little Slaying

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - by Joseph Dycus
 TBI forensic scientist Kyle Osborne with gun used to shoot Jalen Little
TBI forensic scientist Kyle Osborne with gun used to shoot Jalen Little

A cavalcade of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents paraded to the witness stand in day two of Jacob Coyne’s trial. Coyne, along with Zachary Chadwick, allegedly “riddled” 19-year-old Jalen Little with bullets during a fatal shooting on a cold March night in 2017.

The patrol officer who initially responded to the emergency call said that when he arrived he “remembered seeing a young man on the ground, and his mother was screaming.” He said that Little was going in and out of consciousness, and that the officer kept him awake by clutching his hand.

“He was riddled with bullets, and I tried to comfort him as best I could,” said the officer, who asked Little who had shot him. According to the officer, Little said, “Zachary Chadwick shot me.”

Because the shooting occurred in early 2017, there was no body camera footage of this conversation. He said that during this time, the Chattanooga Police Department was in a transition period, and not every officer had a body camera. While he had an audio recorder, he forgot to bring it with him.

“He was more concerned about his condition than answering my questions, which was understandable,” said the officer, who was not able to get any more information about the shooter or the car from the victim before Little was taken to Erlanger. Little succumbed to his injuries while at the hospital.

Kyle Osborne does gunshot residue (GSR) testing for the TBI. He told attorney John McDougal, prosecutor Andrew Coyle, and the jury about the reason for this. When a gun is fired, gunpowder and other particles fly into the air and land on everything within a certain area. He said that while the particles can be lost if they land on skin within hours, it generally stays on clothing for much longer unless it is washed.

As shown on his reports, there was no GSR on any of Coyne’s clothing. However, he stated that Zachary Chadwick’s pants did have gunshot residue. This indicated that Chadwick was near, in contact with, or even possibly shot the gun, it was stated.

Agent John Dunn said there were no latent prints on the pistol or the magazine allegedly used to shoot Little. He did add that fingerprints “can be fragile,” as they are made of sweat and/or oil, and can be easily wiped away or even evaporate. Attorney McDougal emphasized the fact that the agent did not find any prints belonging to Coyne on the gun.

Jessica Hudson of the firearms division in the TBI confirmed the bullets found in Jalen Little’s body most likely came from the  9 millimeter Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol police found near Chadwick’s house. She said that when the TBI did distance testing, it was determined that the shots were fired from around four feet away.

Ms. Hudson said the three bullets that had been extracted from Little’s body were confirmed to be shot from that firearm. She told the court there was no way to know who fired the gun or who owned the gun, something attorney McDougal again emphasized. Agent Denver Hall also confirmed the bullet was fired from the pistol.

According to Alyssa Roberts, who was in the car with a few friends when Little was shot outside of the car, Jacob Coyne was the man who shot Little. However, her testimony was considered questionable by attorney McDougal, citing the angle she would have been sitting at when the shooting happened.

After two days of testimony, the state still has at least one more witness who needs to take the stand.

The trial will resume Thursday morning.

 

 


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