Knoxville man charged with rape, kidnapping

Knoxville man charged with rape, kidnapping; was once on death row

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Arthur Copeland (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Arthur Copeland (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville man is being held on a $1 million bond after he was charged with the sexual assault of his girlfriend.

Arthur Copeland, 39, was arrested without incident just before midnight Wednesday.

Knoxville police say Copeland's girlfriend reported being held at gunpoint and threatened Monday morning as he raped her.

The 30-year-old victim was treated for injuries at a local hospital.

Copeland faces two counts of aggravated rape, and one count each of aggravated assault and especially aggravated kidnapping.

Police say he has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for second degree murder and multiple robberies.

At one time, Copeland's murder conviction was for first degree murder and he was on death row.

He was convicted in 1998 of the shooting death of Robert Andre Jackson in Maryville. The conviction was reversed in May 2007 by the Tennessee Supreme Court and a new trial was ordered.

Copeland waived the new trial and was sentenced to 14 years on a second-degree murder plea, which included 11 years already served.

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