2007
 
Letters to Lionel Cormier
 
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. 
Mr. Cormier:

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 to you.
     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 that night.”
     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 fire was 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
     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.”
     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:
Mr. Stokes,

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
     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 weeks.”

 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.
     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.

Derald Cochran
     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:
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 tell.”
     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:
Mr. Stokes,

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 Mary Farrar.
     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
     Cormier never responded to my letter. Mike’s brother, Derry, decided to write Cormier to see if he would respond to him:
Lionel,

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 with?
     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.

Derald Cochran
     A copy of Derry’s letter was given to Coleman. But Cormier did not respond to Derry’s letter either.
     No contact from the Attorney General’s office or Maine State Police concerning Mike’s murder during 2008.
 
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Notes
 
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 interest.”

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.
 
2009