Man guilty in ‘terror’ trial


XENIA — A man found guilty May 22 in a kidnapping and felonious assault trial will be sentenced in Greene County Common Pleas Court next week.

Jurors took two hours to find Dustin Cochran, 24, guilty of the violent crimes that happened inside a Fairborn residence in August 2018. Cochran was charged with two counts of kidnapping, four counts of felonious assault, two counts of endangering children, and one count of domestic violence plus firearms specifications. The state moved to dismiss one count of attempted murder at the start of the three-day trial in Judge Michael Buckwalter’s courtroom.

“He is a very violent man and as the evidence showed at trial, this was not only about violence, but he set out to terrorize the [victim] over a four-day period,” Assistant Prosecutor Bill Morrison said.

Morrison said during trial that children were present during the assaults.

According to a bill of particulars filed by the state, Cochran fired a handgun at the victim’s head. The document says that the defendant “did by both force and threat of force, knowingly restrain the liberty of the victim … with the purpose to terrorize and to inflict serious harm on [the victim].” The assaults included striking and stabbing the victim with objects, strangling the victim until loss of consciousness and placing the barrel of the handgun into the victim’s mouth while threatening to kill her. The victim suffered from serious injuries.

Morrison described the violence as “terror.”

“He not only hit her with his fists, he utilized a writing pen, an electrical cord, other objects in the home, threatening to throw hot cooking oil to burn her skin, put cigarette butts out on her,” he said. “I have never seen photographs of a domestic violence victim this bad — literally head to toe injured.”

When the victim fled the residence to a family member’s home, Fairborn Police Department and the Regional Emergency Response Team responded to the scene. Cochran exited after 2 and a half to 3 hours and was taken into custody, Morrison said.

Defense Attorney Griff Nowicki during opening arguments asked jurors to consider the credibility of the witnesses and the consistency of their accounts. Nowicki argued that there was no DNA evidence on the weapon and that there was no evidence of the weapon having been fired.

Morrison said two Bureau of Criminal Investigation representatives testified that there was DNA on the weapon.

Cochran is set to be sentenced 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 28.

He is facing 9 to 36 years, Morrison said. The gun specifications require a mandatory 9 years. The maximum sentence on each offense, run consecutively, would add up to 36 years.


By Anna Bolton

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