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Knoxville man found guilty of second-degree murder in 2020 killing

A jury found that Robert Atkins, 40, was guilty of murdering a 29-year-old woman in 2020 and leaving her body outside a Mechanicsville home.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville man was found guilty by a jury of killing a 29-year-old woman in 2020. He was charged with second-degree murder. Originally, he had been charged with first-degree murder in this case.

Police said Robert Atkins, 40, killed Kaitlyne Warwick and prosecutors said he dragged her body outside a Mechanicsville home and left her there. According to reports, she had been shot in the face. He was also found guilty of tampering with evidence and illegally having a weapon.

Atkins has been banned from numerous Knoxville public housing properties through the years for causing disturbances.

Records show he's also attacked and beaten several women, at least one of whom was pregnant with his child at the time, records show. Sometimes charges were dropped because the victim didn't want to press charges. He has a 20-year arrest record including assault and drug charges in Knoxville.

Atkins will be sentenced on Feb. 28 in this case. The jury started deliberating Wednesday evening.

He was also charged with second-degree murder for giving drugs, including fentanyl, to a 37-year-old woman. The drugs later killed her, and Atkins will face trial for that incident too.