Court records detail a long criminal history by 35-year old James Kennth Decoursey—the man shot to death by police in Clarksville Friday morning after he shot and killed Hopkinsville Police Officer Phillip Meacham Thursday afternoon on Paulette Court.
Decoursey was an active fugitive sought on a warrant for second-degree escape relating to him walking away from a halfway house in early February, according to a police source.
He was previously paroled in a 2011 case in which he pleaded guilty to charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of meth and drug paraphernalia, several other drug-related counts, fraudulent use of a credit card and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
He received a 24 year sentence and was paroled on February 2, 2015.
Decoursey completed the Marion Adjustment Center Lifeline Therapeutic Community Substance Abuse Program in 2012. In a January, 2013 he sent a letter to the Court asking for shock probation. Decoursey said he had “learned things such as how to identify my thinking errors, and how to do a rational self-analysis in order to not repeat the mistakes of my past.”
Judge Andrew Self denied his request for shock probation in February 2014.
The January 22, 2011 arrest came when two deputies from the Christian County Sheriff’s Department went to his Dawson Springs Road home to serve warrants against Decoursey and another man. A strong chemical odor was coming from the home and no one came to the door when police knocked.
In 2010, Decoursey was granted probation in Daviess County after being convicted on firearm enhanced methamphetamine trafficking and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon charges. He was required to complete a three-year “Lighthouse Program” as part of his probation.
Later the same year, it was discovered that Decoursey was sought on a Tennessee warrant for not reporting to his probation officer.
Decoursey was indicted in Christian County in 2007 for three counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument. He presented three forged checks totaling about $675 on separate occasions, according to the indictment. A separate 2007 indictment for three counts of fraudulent use of credit cards says he stole a credit card form a woman and used it on three separate occasions. He was eventually granted probation on his three-year sentence, but it was revoked in February of 2011.
Judge Self ruled Decoursey had violated terms of his release and that he was a substantial risk to commit another crime.
Decoursey sent a letter apologizing to Judge Self for an outburst in court during sentencing. He said he was “tired of living my life this way” and asked to be placed in a faith-based program.
A 2002 conviction for third-degree burglary initially resulted probation. The original warrant says he admitted to going into the Linda Drive home of his deceased mother and causing approximately $1,500 in vandalism damage. He also removed furniture from the home. He was back in jail three months after sentencing when he violated conditions of release and Judge John Atkins revoked his probation.
Other than traffic violations, Decoursey’s record began in 2001 with a criminal trespass charge that was eventually dismissed.
Over the next 17 years he was arrested in multiple counties and states. Charges included burglary and meth-related counts and trickle down to DUI, marijuana possession and traffic violations that he often failed to appear in court to face.