Green Fields: Crime, Punishment & a Boyhood Between

By Bob Cowser Jr. | University of New Orleans Publishing | $15.95 | 178 pages | 2009

Four decades passed between the execution of William James Tines and Robert Glen Coe on April 19, 2000. This book details the crime and trial that culminated in Coe’s death by lethal injection.

Greenfield is a small town in the southwest corner of Weakley County. It was there that Robert Coe, age 23, kidnapped, raped and murdered

Cary Ann Medlin, 8, on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 1, 1979. Author Cowser was an elementary school classmate of Cary Ann. He returned to Tennessee to research and write this volume.

For those of us who like to read about trials, 15 pages are devoted to the 1981 proceedings in Memphis (after venue change) resulting in convictions and the death sentence. You can combine these with the reported opinions at 655 S.W.2d 903 (Tenn. 1983) and 17 S.W.3d 193 (Tenn. 2000).

I recommend this book. It is paperbound and sells for $15.95 according to the cover. You will be informed about an important chapter in our legal history.


Donald F. Paine DONALD F. PAINE is a past president of the Tennessee Bar Association and is of counsel to the Knoxville firm of Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers LLP. He lectures for the Tennessee Law Institute, BAR/BRI Bar Review, and the Tennessee Judicial Conference.