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Cochran denied immunity based on self-defense
Cochran denied immunity based on self-defense


Christopher Andrew Cochran

Article contributed by The Journal Record

By Scott johnson 
Managing Editor
Hamilton - A Hamilton man has been denied immunity for his involvement in the Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2018, shooting that resulted in the death of Lorenzo Garcia.
Christopher Andrew Cochran, 30, Hamilton, allegedly shot and killed Garcia, 48, last Christmas during a child custody exchange at the Hamilton Police Department. 
A court order filed Dec. 10 and released by Marion County Circuit Clerk Denise Mixon shows that 25th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Daryl Burt denied an immunity motion filed by Cochran based on self-defense.
Cochran was in a relationship with the mother of Garcia's children, a boy and girl, 3 and 4 years old, respectfully. Both children were present at the exchange when their father was killed.
 Cochran allegedly began firing shots at Garcia after a verbal confrontation during the exchange.
The decision was made following two pre-trial hearings held on Sept. 23 and Oct. 13, according to Marion County Circuit Clerk Denise Mixon.
Cochran is represented by court-appointed attorneys Jim Standridge of Tuscaloosa and Jeremy  Streetman of Hamilton.
25th Judicial Circuit Court District Attorney Scott Slatton is prosecuting the case.
The defense called three witnesses to testify in the hearing: Darla Gibson (a friend of Garcia), Sami Jo Norgard (Cochran's girlfriend), and Brandi Van Slyke (Garcia's girlfriend at the time).
Gibson was the first witness. She rode with Garcia to the custody exchange. Norgard was with Cochran.
According to the testimony, Gibson and Norgard testified they didn't hear any threats exchanged between Cochran and Garcia.
Slykes, who was in a relationship with Garcia, told the court she was at previous custody exchanges and had heard no threats or acts of violence at those times.
During the hearing, a video captured by a camera at the Hamilton Police Department was played.
Hamilton Investigator Scotty Chandler was called as the state's sole witness. According to court records, he testified to his observations of Garcia's body, shell casings and gun at the scene.
The order concludes, stating, "The court has considered the pleadings and the proof, including testimony by the witnesses and the exhibits admitted into evidence at the hearing and upon close scrutiny thereof, finds that the defendant (Cochran) has failed to meet his burden of proving his entitlement to immunity by a preponderance of the evidence.
"Accordingly, defendant's motion is denied."
(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.)
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