Judge denies dismissal of case against mom in son's shooting

A District Court judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss the criminal case of a woman accused of shooting her son.

Linda Cooney’s lawyers said they would appeal Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez’s ruling to the Supreme Court.

Cooney, 64, is charged with attempted murder, battery with use of a deadly weapon, intimidating a witness and stalking in the shooting of Kevin Cooney in June 2011.

The case revolves around the relationship between Kevin Cooney and then-girlfriend Karina Taylor.

Prosecutors suspect Linda Cooney was trying to sabotage her son’s relationship by sending text messages to an employer that said Taylor was “an evil whore,” sparking a fight between the mother and son on the night of the shooting.

Defense attorney Michael Castillo argued those comments were protected free speech because no threat was made, and he asked for the stalking charge to be dismissed.

Prosecutor Michael Staudaher said it wasn’t just the messages that caused Taylor to be intimidated. Taylor knew Linda Cooney had shot and killed her estranged husband in Florida two decades ago. She also knew Linda Cooney carried a gun with her, Staudaher said.

Castillo also argued the attempted murder charges should be dismissed because testimony during the preliminary hearing failed to show who shot Kevin Cooney.

Staudaher noted that Las Vegas police officer Chris Cooney, Kevin Cooney’s brother, told a 911 operator that his mother said she “was attacked by my older brother and that she shot him.”

But during testimony, Chris Cooney said to the best of his recollection his mother did not tell him she shot Kevin Cooney, despite the 911 call.

The judge said there was enough evidence to take the case to a jury trial. The trial is set for May, but it could be delayed by the Supreme Court appeal.

Kevin Cooney, who is 6-feet 9-inches tall, worked as a bouncer and doorman at nightclubs on the Strip and downtown before the shooting. He is an incomplete quadriplegic, meaning he has some movement in his arms and legs.

Authorities said the gun Linda Cooney used to shoot her son was the same one she killed his father with in Florida 21 years ago. A jury acquitted her in that death after testimony from Kevin Cooney, who witnessed the shooting.

Linda Cooney claimed self-defense in that case, and her lawyers have hinted she may do the same in the shooting of her son.

Linda Cooney told police her son punched her, causing a bruise on her chest.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.