Karina Taylor refuted much of the testimony of her former boyfriend, Kevin Cooney, during two days of testimony at his mother’s attempted murder trial.
Taylor, 32, testified on Wednesday and Thursday that Cooney was gregarious, sweet and a talented artis; not a violent, misogynistic bully as he described himself to the jury earlier this week.
Taylor said that in Facebook messages from Kevin Cooney, he said he felt trapped by his overbearing mother, Linda Cooney. She would sabotage his relationships because she feared that he would leave her, Kevin Cooney wrote. Linda Cooney was paranoid and verbally abusive to Kevin Cooney, Taylor said.
“I desire to run away. But I can’t… My mother is just nuts and doesn’t realize this (expletive) she does … will ultimately make her alone,” Kevin Cooney wrote to Taylor via Facebook.
Prosecutors say Linda Cooney shot Kevin Cooney in June 2011 during a feud over Taylor. Prosecutors say that before the shooting, Linda Cooney was trying to sabotage her son’s relationship by sending text messages to an employer saying his girlfriend was “an evil whore.” She had sabotaged her son’s previous relationships before, they say.
Linda Cooney, 66, faces four counts, including attempted murder, battery with use of a deadly weapon and intimidating a witness. She also is charged with stalking Taylor. If convicted of all counts she faces three to 65 years in prison.
Taylor’s testimony of Kevin Cooney contradicted not only how he saw himself, but what happened when he was shot.
On Monday, Kevin Cooney testified about what happened about 8 a.m. June 28, 2011.
After the 6-foot-9-inch-tall former bouncer beat his mother for meddling in his relationship with Taylor and threatened to kill her, Kevin Cooney said he went for a .357-caliber handgun hidden near the downstairs sofa. His mother got it first and fled. He jumped on her and grabbed the gun. As he pulled the gun away from her, it fired, striking him in the neck.
Prosecutors have multiple witnesses, including Taylor, who say after the shooting Kevin Cooney told them he was scared of his mother because she shot him.
Kevin Cooney said he was to blame for what happened and that police were right when they arrested him early on in the case on domestic violence charges. The charges were later dropped.
“Mom does what I say or mom gets the fist,” Kevin Cooney said, describing his relationship with the defendant. “I was a jerk, a bully.”
While testifying, Kevin Cooney tearfully apologized to his mother for what he had done.
But Kevin Cooney’s Facebook messages to Taylor show a different side. In those messages, which were read into evidence on Thursday, Kevin Cooney said he believed his mother was trying to provoke him by degrading him regarding his relationship with Karina. “She needs a (expletive) slap, but it’s not coming from me,” he said.
Taylor also told the jury that she feared Linda Cooney because she knew that she had killed her ex-husband, James Cooney, in Florida more than two decades ago. Linda Cooney was acquitted by a Florida jury that found she acted in self-defense when she shot her ex-husband. Prosecutors says she used the same gun to shoot Kevin Cooney.
Linda Cooney also sent harassing text messages to Taylor calling her a “whore” and a “succubus,” she said.
Taylor cried when she talked about why she has never gone back to see Kevin Cooney, after Linda Cooney attacked Taylor outside her son’s hospital room Aug. 2, 2011.
“I was scared of Linda Cooney,” Taylor said.
After nearly two weeks of testimony, prosecutors are expected to call their final two witnesses on Friday.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at email@example.com or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @fjmccabe