Man gets 36 years in ‘terror’ case trial


XENIA — A man was given the maximum sentence — 36 years — in what’s being described as the most heinous non-fatal crime ever seen in Greene County.

Jurors took two hours to find Dustin Cochran, 24, guilty in the case of “terror” May 22. Testimony revealed that over four days in August 2018, Cochran tortured a victim inside a Fairborn residence in front of two young children.

Judge Michael A. Buckwalter May 30 ordered Cochran to serve 11 years for kidnapping and eight years for each count (two) of felonious assault plus three years for each firearms specification (three), to run consecutively. This will run concurrently to 180 days for each count (two) of endangering children and 180 days for domestic violence, adding up to a total of 36 years.

This is the maximum sentence allowed under law. According to Assistant Prosecutor Bill Morrison, the mandatory Cochran faced was nine years for the gun specifications.

“The photos in state exhibits depict the most deplorable, horrific injuries the court has ever seen that did not end in a fatality,” Buckwalter said. “Defendant’s conduct over the four days of horror can only be described as pathologically torturous and evil.”

The sentencing entry reads: “ … the court finds that the consecutive service is necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the defendant and that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct and to the danger the defendant poses to the public … the harm caused … was so great or unusual that no single prison term for any of the offenses committed … adequately reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct.”

During sentencing, Buckwalter recited a lengthy description of what the victim of the case endured for four days. He described the crimes as “monstrous atrocities” and “sadistic terrorism.”

“The defendant savagely tortured [victim] in multiple ways,” Buckwalter said.

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 cigarettes 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 nearly three hours and was taken into custody, Morrison said.

Defense Attorney Griff Nowicki during opening arguments of the trial 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.

The sentencing entry indicated Cochran is entitled to 274 days jail time credit, owes $20,000 in fines, is subject to supervision under post release control, and has the right to appeal.

Whitney Vickers | Greene County News Defendant Dustin Cochran, beside Defense Attorney Griff Nowicki, is sentenced to 36 years in prison May 30. Vickers | Greene County News Defendant Dustin Cochran, beside Defense Attorney Griff Nowicki, is sentenced to 36 years in prison May 30.

By Anna Bolton

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