|The following is from a letter I had drafted to sent to Cormier after he was
incarcerated at a medical prison in Springfield, Missouri. I rewrote in
an email to send to Det. Coleman.
On February 5, 2007, I sent an email to Coleman, saying, "Let me know what you would change or add or if the whole
thing should be discarded. I will be glad to be done with it.”
I realize the last thing you expected to receive is a letter from Micheal
Cochran’s mother. But I am asking you to please read what I have written
This February 18 will be twenty-six long years since someone murdered
my dearly loved son Mike. And as you know, no one has been convicted
for his murder. During those years, I have spoken with many people
concerning Mike’s death. But the most information I received was
from Percy Sargent and his brother Richard in letters and conversations.
Percy was the first to contact me and he implicated you and your half-brother Paul Pollard. I am enclosing those letters and taped conversations
for you to read. In Percy’s letter he wrote that you “picked Paul Pollard
up the night of the fire, right after the fire, so Lionel Cormier knows the
truth as to what happened that night.” And in our recorded conversation
Percy said “those two guys (you and Pollard), they did something dirty
And in a letter I received from Richard Sargent he wrote: “What was
said that day in the motel (Cormier did the talking) was that Cochran
was taken care of and he wouldn’t be doing any talking. I told them that
I didn’t want anything to do with murder. They got mad and left. They
wanted Pollard to hide out at my place.”
Mr. Cormier, I was in court the day the judge sentenced you and heard
you say, “You know, charging me with the Cochran murder, when I have
not been charged with it, or ever indicted, or even questioned about it
except by Mr. Coleman himself, which is probably obvious from all
the charges I have. I have been caught for everything I have done, so
if I would have done this Cochran issue, obviously I would have been
convicted and sentenced to life. … Any sentence you give me is a life
sentence. I already know that because I’m through.”
If you believe that
to be true, could you please before you leave this earth, be kind enough
to give me peace of mind by telling me how Mike was killed and why.
Information from Percy was that Mike was shot before the
started. And Fire Marshal Wilbur Ricker said that the gas was poured
directly on him. Because of the smoke in his lungs, we know that he
was still breathing when that happened. I’ve lived this every day of my
life and will until I die. You also asked the judge to “save a spot in the
cemetery for me, if you can.” Before that happens, please tell me what
was done to my son the night he died and why.
Sincerely, Lee Cochran
Coleman responded by saying that he had just returned from vacation and read
my letter. He said,
“It must have been very difficult for you to write. I definitely think
it is worth a shot and it may just be what gets Lionel to talk. … My only other thought
is that, with your permission, I would like to forward it to the Attorney General’s
office for additional input. Please keep me posted. Jerry.”
On February 6, 2007, I wrote Coleman, saying "it is alright with me for you to send it to
the AG’s office.”
Coleman's letter to Deputy Attorney General Stokes:
Coleman wrote that Stokes was out of office and that he had received an auto
reply: “Letter to Lionel Cormier. I will be out of the Office on trial for the next three
Lee Cochran has drafted the attached letter to Lionel Cormier.
Mr. Cormier lost his appeal and is currently serving the balance of his 34
year sentence in a federal penitentiary. I am hopeful that this letter will
result in a response from Mr. Cormier. Mrs. Cochran has permitted me to
forward this letter to your office for additional input. It would be desirable
for this letter to arrive around the anniversary of Micheal Cochran’s
death (Feb. 18) or the anniversary of the date his body was found (Feb.
24). Additionally, I would like to make arrangements for Mrs. Cochran to
meet with a victim witness advocate from your office.
Respectfully, Det. Gerald Coleman
On March 5, 2007, Derry sent a letter to the editor of the BDN concerning our
respect for MSP Detective Coleman:
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
I think it is important to take note when something is noteworthy. My
brother, Micheal Cochran, was murdered in the Bangor area 26 years ago.
Gerald Coleman, a detective for the Maine State police, was assigned my
brother’s case four years ago and I knew from the day I met him I was in
the company of a decent, honest, and caring man. It took him no time to
see the truth of my brother’s death and had no problem stating the facts
as the facts were.
On March 9, I received a copy of an email Stokes had also sent to Coleman, MSP
Det. Troy Gardner, and AG Victim Advocate, Mary Farrar:
I would like to say that if the Maine State Police had more Gerald
Coleman’s we would not need a cold case unit and our state would be a
better and safer place.
Hello all: I have been in trial for the month of February and am digging
out and reviewing all of my e-mails. I will review Mrs. Cochran’s letter
and get back to her as soon as I can. We have two victim advocates -
Mary Farrar and Susie Miller Maynard. I would suggest that Mary Farrar
work with Mrs. Cochran.
On the March 10, I wrote Coleman thanking him for continuing to work on
Mike’s case. I said Derry had told me that he called him and thanked him for his
letter to the editor. I said that I shared Derry’s sentiment. I also told him, “As yet,
I have not received a response from Cormier and might not, I guess only time will
On the same day, I received response email from Coleman which was also sent to
Stokes, Gardner, and Mary Farrar. It was in regard to my letter to Lionel Cormier:
Stokes’s response to Coleman was that he “reviewed the letter and it looked
fine as is to me and I hope Cormier has some decency left to respond.” He sent copies to
Gardner, Farrar, and to me. 1
Congratulations on the verdict! I was aware of the trial you were involved
in and, after a few days, I contacted Mrs. Cochran and told her you
were tied up and to go ahead and send the letter if she wanted. I would
still, however, be interested in any input you may have and apologize if
sending the letter has any adverse effects. I will arrange something with
Cormier never responded to my letter. Mike’s brother, Derry, decided to write
Cormier to see if he would respond to him:
A copy of Derry’s letter was given to Coleman. But Cormier did not respond to
Derry’s letter either.
My name is Derald Cochran, I am Mike’s older brother. It is midnight
here in Bangor and I guess I have the flu and can’t sleep. I wanted to share
a story with you.
When Mike escaped from the court house in 1980 … I left for Alaska
knowing he would be caught in a matter of time. But after being there a
couple of weeks and learning you had killed him, you can understand the
guilt I felt for leaving him.
I do have a few questions. Do you realize that Micheal was not the one
that set Percy Sargent up? The very guy Percy made the deal with, a guy
named Percy Cote, was the informant that night. So after Percy Sargent told you and Paul to take
care of Mike and he learned of the mistake he threw you to the wolves.
I am curious that that does not bother you. Right after you killed Mike
they were pointing the finger at you. That would bother me and if I had
nothing to lose spending the rest of my life behind bars I would want my
buddies to share in my misfortune, especially when they are the ones
fingering me. Paul put you behind bars for 27 years or so in the 80s. What
do you owe him?
I do want you to know one thing. Every time you go for dialysis I want
you to think of Mike because he was a member of this family and we
never forgot you. You are where you are at and lost your chance for a
transplant because of Mike. There is some kind of justice in that don’t
you think? So I will ask one more time. Knowing you are going to die
in prison are you going to let your buddies who fingered you have their
cushy lives? They go to bed with their women. Who do you go to bed
Okay, you will probably not answer me but since you are not going
anywhere and if you’re bored you could write back. I would be glad to
hear from you and I will respond to any questions or thoughts you might
have. Just think if you decided to talk about Paul and Percy you could
take a trip back to Maine all expenses paid. If you don’t want to talk with
me just write a note say f-off at least I will know you got the letter.
No contact from the Attorney General’s office or Maine State Police concerning
Mike’s murder during 2008.
|1 Stokes said my letter to Cormier
accusing him of killing Mike looked fine to him. But, in December of
1988, when Richard Sargent asked the court to allow
him to present evidence he had that would show Cormier and Pollard did murder
Mike, Stokes was there to ask the judge to deny the request. Stokes told the judge
that Mike’s murder case was an “ongoing, active investigation” and that allowing
Richard Sargent to present his evidence to a grand jury didn’t “serve the public
In October of 1989, Senator Mitchell sent some of my documents to
AG James Tierney,
asking him to review them. If you remember, Tierney’s response was, “It appears that
the information that is included with your letter is intended to prove that Paul Pollard
and/or Lionel Cormier murdered cheal Cochran. This material had already been
seen by our ofice and contains nothing which would speciically tie either Pollard
or Cormier to the killing.”
In 2007, nearly 20 years later, Stokes was alright with my letter to Cormier
quoting information that Percy Sargent and Richard Sargent had given to me,
accusing Cormier and Pollard of murdering Mike.