A Hartsville man who shot at two deputies and critically injured one, in Trousdale County on December 5, 2011, has been found guilty of two counts of attempted 1st degree murder and one count of reckless endangerment with a weapon, by a Lebanon jury. Judge David Durham presided over the trial last week in Wilson County.
Around 12:45 a.m. on Monday, December 5, Sgt. Harold Cooley and Deputy Dusty Cato, of the Trousdale County Sheriffs Department, were dispatched to 100 Coker Lane to the residence of David Graves, on a domestic call from the suspect’s girlfriend. Upon their arrival, they realized he was armed and after the subject refused to drop his weapon, they exchanged gunfire.
According to Trousdale Sheriff Ray Russell, who spoke to the Chronicle the next day after the 2011 gunfight, Sgt. Cooley was shot in the face and neck area and Graves was hit in the shoulder. Both men were transported to Vanderbilt Hospital with the sergeant in critical condition.
District Attorney General Tommy Thompson said that Graves had a criminal history in Trousdale County and deputies had been called out to his residence the month prior to the shooting.
Cooley has since recovered from the ordeal and returned to the Sheriffs Department on light duty. “He will never be a patrolman again,” said General Thompson, “however he is on desk duty and he is still a firearms instructor.”
David Graves was found not guilty of aggravated assault on his girlfriend, who he lived with. The reckless endangerment verdict stemmed from Graves going into a room where a 2-year-old toddler was to do his shooting.
“I would like to take a moment to thank the Macon County Sheriffs Office, the Lafayette Police Department and the Smith County Sheriffs Office, for all their help when this terrible incident occurred in 2011,” stated General Thompson. “These agencies selflessly sent officers as backup during this crisis and it was a good example of cooperation among the three counties and I am proud of all the law enforcement for sticking together and helping Trousdale County hold it together that night. It is a miracle that Sgt. Cooley is alive.”
The range of punishment for attempted 1st degree murder is 15 to 25 years and Graves is guilty on two counts. The reckless endangerment verdict carries two years. “It is a good verdict,” added Thompson, “and David Graves is looking at a maximum of 52 years.”