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Hobart woman suspected of serving human remains at barbecue sentenced to 65 years for husband's murder

Hobart woman suspected of serving human remains at barbecue sentenced to 65 years for husband's murder


CROWN POINT — Kelly M. Cochran, already serving a life sentence in Michigan for her boyfriend's murder, was sentenced Wednesday in Lake County to 65 years for the 2016 murder of her husband in Hobart. Cochran agreed to the prison term in a plea deal. 

Cochran, 35, said in a lengthy statement to the court she missed her husband, Jason Cochran, whom she admitted injecting with a large dose of heroin and then smothering with her hands. 

The man's family said in a letter to the court the defendant was “evil” and attention-seeking.

Cochran's Indiana prison sentence will be served consecutive to her life sentence in Michigan, which she is serving for the 2014 murder of Christopher Regan in Iron River, Michigan. 

Kelly Cochran allegedly conspired with Jason Cochran, 37, to murder Regan, her boyfriend, to end the affair. Kelly Cochran told Regan to come to her Michigan home for sex Oct. 14, 2014, court records state. Jason Cochran surprised them during the act and shot Regan in the head with a .22 caliber rifle, according to court documents.

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

Cochran said she murdered her husband on Feb. 20, 2016, at their home in the 7100 block of Mississippi Street in revenge for her boyfriend's killing. She said she injected him with a large dose of heroin, then smothered him after he overdosed.

“I still hate him, and yes, it was revenge,” she had told Hobart police Detective Jeremy Ogden in 2016. “I evened the score.”

Cochran told Ogden she lacked feeling or emotion. She said she made sure her husband's mother saw that her son's breathing was labored before he died.

The sentencing hearing comes on the heels of a forthcoming documentary from "Investigation Discovery" that claims Iron River Police Chief Laura Frizzo investigated whether Cochran had as many as nine victims, and may have served Regan's remains to neighbors at a barbecue.

Ogden, now retired, told the court at Wednesday's sentencing hearing he believed Cochran was intelligent and manipulative. He said he interviewed the woman for more than 100 hours, and he still had questions.

Judge Salvador Vasquez raised a question about an unusual term of the plea agreement — the Lake County prosecutor's office agreed it would not file additional charges against Cochran in Lake County.

He asked the prosecutors whether Cochran may be involved in other homicides.

The attorneys conferred at the bench with the judge for about a minute.

The judge said after the discussion Cochran claimed in an interview in Michigan she had information about other crimes committed in Lake County, but there was no evidence to support her claims. He said it may just be “talk.”

Lake County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Barbara McConnell said through a spokesman Cochran was not suspected in other crimes, “however, she may have knowledge of other unspecified crimes.”

Jason Cochran's family said Kelly Cochran was a “very evil person,” who cremated Jason, despite his wishes to be buried, likely to hide evidence of his murder.

Deputy Prosecutor Nadia Wardrip read a letter from the family to the court.

The family said Jason Cochran was a loving person with many friends. They said Kelly Cochran was an attention-seeker, who just wanted to be in the spotlight.

“If you couldn't be the center of attention, Jason suffered,” the family wrote.

Kelly Cochran told the court she began dating Jason after high school and they moved in together in 2001. She said Jason changed after they married in September 2002.

She claimed her husband was two different people — sometimes he was the man she loved, but other times she saw in him “the eyes of a monster.”

“He took me to places so dark, I thought light would never shine,” she said.

She said she “forgave” Cochran, but now she was left with “horrible memories.”

She said Wednesday, crying, she was sorry to her husband's family, as well as her own family.

Ogden said after the sentencing hearing, Cochran tried to blame everything on her husband, rather than taking responsibility. He reiterated she was manipulative.

“I think she tries to control everything through statements,” he said.

Vasquez said he would accept the plea agreement. He said even if Cochran's conviction were reversed in Michigan, she still would have to serve 48 years in prison in Indiana, assuming she earned early release for good behavior.

The judge ordered Cochran sent back to Michigan to serve her life sentence.


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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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