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Hobart woman pleads guilty to 2nd murder for smothering her husband

Hobart woman pleads guilty to 2nd murder for smothering her husband

CROWN POINT — A 35-year-old woman already serving life in prison for murdering a Michigan man admitted Wednesday she also smothered her husband at their Hobart home.

Kelly M. Cochran pleaded guilty to murder Wednesday for the Feb. 20, 2016, killing of her husband, Jason Cochran, at their home in the 7100 block of Mississippi Street.

Cochran will serve 65 years in prison for the murder, the maximum sentence, and her Indiana sentence will be served consecutive to the life sentence she is serving in Michigan for the 2014 killing of Christopher Regan in Iron River, Michigan.

Kelly Cochran allegedly plotted Oct. 14, 2014, with her husband to lure Regan, her boyfriend, to her home in Iron River, Michigan, for sex, court records state. Jason Cochran waited in the home's basement, broke into the room during the act and shot Regan in the head with a .22 caliber rifle.

The couple then dismembered the man's body and dumped it in a wooded area.

Cochran said she murdered her husband in revenge for Regan's killing, court records state.

She told a police detective she injected her husband with heroin and then smothered him after he overdosed.

“I still hate him, and yes, it was revenge, I evened the score,” she said, records state.

In exchange for Wednesday's guilty plea, the state agreed it would not seek the death penalty or life imprisonment against Cochran.

The plea agreement also precludes the state from filing additional charges against Cochran in Lake County.

Cpl. James Bond, of the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit, said Wednesday he could not discuss whether Cochran was a suspect in any other cases in Lake County.

The Lake County Prosecutor's Office did not respond to a request for comment.

Cochran, who appeared at the court hearing with defense attorney Derla Gross, said she understood the terms of the plea agreement. She laughed when Judge Salvador Vasquez asked her if she needed more time to review the case.

“Sir, I've had plenty of time,” she said. “Plenty of time.”

Cochran said she was taking antidepressant medication, but it did not impact her ability to understand the proceedings.

Gross told the judge she met with her client several times to discuss the agreement.

“She is extremely bright,” Gross said. “She has no problem understanding these concepts.”

Cochran began sobbing when the judge asked for her plea.

“I plead guilty, your honor,” she said.

The judge noted the change in plea came quickly — Cochran made her first court appearance in the case only two months ago.

Vasquez scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 16.

Deputy Prosecutor Nadia Wardrip said she expected two or three victims would testify at the hearing.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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