Trial continues for man accused in E. Knoxville woman's shooting

Trial continues for man accused in East Knoxville woman's 2008 shooting death

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Frank Cooper is on trial for the 2008 shooting death of Nola Atkins. Frank Cooper is on trial for the 2008 shooting death of Nola Atkins.
Nola Atkins (source: family photo) Nola Atkins (source: family photo)
The majority of Tuesday was spent questioning a Knoxville Police Department detective who interviewed Cooper several times. The majority of Tuesday was spent questioning a Knoxville Police Department detective who interviewed Cooper several times.
The victim's family says Nola Atkins was loved by many in the community and will never be forgotten. The victim's family says Nola Atkins was loved by many in the community and will never be forgotten.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Prosecutors continued Tuesday to try to build their case against a man accused of killing a Knoxville grandmother.

Frank Cooper is on trial for the 2008 shooting death of Nola Atkins. The 72-year-old was found dead inside her home on Selma Avenue.

Cooper was arrested in 2010 and charged with first degree murder and aggravated burglary.

Tuesday marked the second day of Cooper's trial. The jury was seated Monday.

During the trial, Cooper has shown no emotion. The sight of Frank Gary Cooper causes many emotions for the son and daughter-in-law of Nola Atkins.

"I am so angry inside.  I don't have the words to say it, but basically when I see him it makes my blood boil," said Atkins' daughter-in-law Joyce Martin.

During Tuesday's testimony, jurors listened to two of the state's witnesses. The majority of the time was spent questioning a Knoxville Police Department detective who interviewed Cooper several times.

KPD Detective Patricia Tipton says Cooper's story changed.  During one of the taped interviews, Cooper said he and two other men went to Atkins' house to steal money. He said he did not shoot her.

The victim's family believes at this point the Assistant District Attorney Takisha Fitzgerald is making a strong case for the state.

"The lady we've got ahead of us, we are blessed to have her in our situation,"said Ron Martin, Atkins' son.

The Martins hope justice is served and the message is sent that there are consequences for violent behavior.

"I just hope it opens people's hearts to please don't take anybody's life like that. We don't want anyone to go what we've went through or what we are going through," said Ron Martin.

The victim's family says Nola Atkins was loved by many in the community and will never be forgotten.

"She's always going to have a place. Every morning I wake up I talk to my mother," said Ron Martin.

Jurors were sent home around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The trial will continue Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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