Deputy ME Dr. Roy’s testimony the jury did hear

“Dr. Roy, I am Michael attorney for Leola Cochran. On February 24th, 1981, you went to Lucerne-in-Maine to perform an investigation of a death?”
     “To examine the scene, yes.”
     “Okay. And what was the first thing that you recall about what took place at that time?”
     “... It was difficult to identify a body at the scene until it was pointed out to us, and then we were able to recognize a badly charred body lying on its stomach near the front of the building. ...The body appeared to be lying on its stomach, and it was still within the confines of the building, what would probably be a porch area.”   1
     “Now, what did you do at the scene?”
     “Really did very little beyond just that preliminary examination. There really was not much we could do. The remainder of that sort of scene belongs to the fire marshal.”  2
     Mr. Popkin asked Dr. Roy what was done “at the medical examiner’s office to investigate this death.”
     “Well, the body was taken to the morgue at Kennebec Valley Medical Center, and the next morning I further examined it externally to determine the extent of injury that had occurred. The internal organs were examined. The trachea was examined for evidence of soot. Blood was collected for toxicology testing.”
     “I would like to show you what has been marked as Roy Deposition Exhibit #1 and ask if you could identify that, please.”
     “That’s a copy of my autopsy report on Micheal Cochran.”

Deputy ME Roy says no trauma to Mike’s unrecognizable body

“All right. Now, could you please tell me what you concluded from your examination at that time?”
     “I concluded that the cause of death was due to inhalation of products of combustion including carbon monoxide. ... That’s based on presence of soot in the trachea. ... There was no evidence of gunshot wounds, stab wounds to the chest, to the trunk or head.
     “Okay. Now, do I understand you that what you are saying is that there was no obvious cause of death?”
     “That’s right.”
     “And did you find any evidence of trauma?”
     “No.”
     “Okay. That means no stab wounds, no gunshot wounds?
     “That’s right.”   3

     “What did you do to determine whether carbon monoxide was present?”
     “Well—”
     Attorney Popkin didn’t wait for Roy to answer instead he said, “At this point let me show you Deposition Exhibit #2 and ask you to identify that.”
     “That is the toxicology report.”

On the 27th of February 1981 a letter from the Public Health Laboratory was sent to CME Dr. Henry Ryan stating that the blood contained a carbon monoxide level of 46% of saturation. But the stamp on the letter shows that the letter was not received at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office until March 3, 1981. Mike’s remains had been returned to his family and a cremation was recommended and carried out on February 26th, five days previous.

     “And could you, please, state what the results were?”
     “Well, it indicates a carbon monoxide saturation of 46 percent ....”
     “Okay. Now, are you confident that there was no other traumatic injury to Mr. Cochran?”

Dr. Roy cannot rule out that Mike was not struck on the head

“I cannot rule out that he was not struck on the head or even that he had a skull fracture.

Dr. Roy was corroborating the perjured testimony that Sharon Sargent gave the grand jury in 1985. She said that Richard Sargent hit Mike in the head. She later said Det. Shuman suggested the information.

I cannot rule out any injuries to his arms or legs or other portions of his extremities that are missing. Obviously, I can’t tell you what happened there. I don’t see any evidence of any penetrating wounds to the head.”

How could Roy say that he couldn’t “see any evidence of any penetrating wounds to the head” when the autopsy report states that the back, sides, and half of the top of the skull were also missing?

     “And there was severe charring?”
     “Yes.”
     “Now, based upon that cause of death of carbon monoxide inhalation, did you reach a conclusion as to the manner of death?”
     “No, I could not, not from my autopsy examination or information I had.”
     Dr. Roy explained that cause of death was identified as the process that caused the person’s life to stop; and manner of death was identified as either homicide, suicide, accident, natural death, undetermined, and some jurisdiction use unclassified.
     “Did you eventually reach a conclusion in this case as to manner of death?”
     “Yes, I did.”
     “And what was that conclusion?”
     “Homicide.”
     “And why did you reach that?”
     “That’s based on the information from the fire marshal’s office that they believe that this was an arson. So on that basis, this would be a homicide.”

Dr. Roy accepted Fire Marshal Ricker’s professional opinion that the fire was arson but rejected his professional opinion that gas was poured on Mike.

     “In other words, you concluded that Mr. Cochran died as a result of the fire; and if the fire was an intentionally set fire, then the death was a homicide.”
     “That’s right.”

I was confused when the news reported, on the 26th of February 1981, that Det. Pinkham had called Mike’s death a homicide. I had been told that Mike’s death was an accident. I wondered at that time how an accidental death would be called a homicide.
     “The sort of evidence that you have been giving here, this is the type of testimony that you have given many times in the courts of Maine?”
     “Yes.”

Examination by defense attorney Glazier

“Doctor, but for the information that was given to you by the fire marshal’s office, would you have put the word ‘homicide’ on the amended death certificate?”
     “No.”
     “There is no question that death in this case was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning?”
     “I have no problem with that.”

Re-examination by attorney Popkin

“The body that you examined was that of a white male?”
     “Yes.”
     “And was the body much more badly burned on the back, the top?”
     “Yes.”
     “Since the body was lying on its—face down, did you find that the back was much more severely charred than the belly?”
     “Yes.”
     “And the charring on the back at places went right through to expose the pleural cavities?”
     "Yes.”

I believe the reason the back was more severely burned was because the gas was poured on Mike as Fire Marshal Ricker said, a horrible death. Paul Pollard said to me “Do I look like the type of person that kills people for no reason?”

After attorney Popkin took Dr. Roy’s deposition, regardless of using the argument of gas on Mike to support my case of intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, my attorney decided to remove anything that referred to gas being poured on Mike. I believe Popkin removed Fire Marshal Ricker’s expert opinion that gas was poured on Mike to support Dr. Roy’s position that there was no trauma to Mike’s body which also supported the Maine Attorney General’s position as well as State of Maine Homicide Detectives Shuman and Pinkham’s position that Mike died of smoke inhalation and that there was no trauma to my son’s body that was burned beyond recognition.
     I believe my attorney was selling me out and that he especially was selling my murdered son out when he removed Ricker’s expert opinion of gas being poured on Mike and supported the state’s position that there was no gas poured on Mike and there was no trauma to Mike’s body.
     Deputy ME Dr. Roy’s name is on a death certificate that reports the cause of Mike’s death as “
Trapped in hiuse [sic] fire.” I believe this helped the state cover for Paul Pollard, the man seen fleeing the murder scene the night my son Mike was violently murdered. And my attorney was destroying my case for reckless infliction of emotional distress. According to a State of Maine Public Health Laboratory Report my son’s “blood contained a carbon monoxide level of 46% saturation.” This is evidence that gas was not poured on a body. It was poured on Mike—while he was still breathing! I found information online about gunshot wounds to the head.
     One article gave an example of a young man who survived such an injury. The victim arrived at an emergency department with an entrance wound to his left occipital region of the brain. A CT scan revealed that the skull was fractured and that there a large underlying cerebral contusion. He was taken to surgery for debridement of the wound and skull fracture. The patient was later discharged, and although he suffered a significant visual field defect, he was in otherwise good neurological condition. Would Mike have lived if he had not been burned to death? He was alive and breathing according the Maine Public Health Laboratory Report and gas was poured on him according to Fire Marshal Wilbur Ricker’s opinion.  
 
 
 
1    It was impossible to tell where rooms or where a porch area was located after the building burned. This info must have come from Fire Marshal Wilbur Ricker or Allan Jamison’s report.  
 
2    According to Fire Marshal Ricker he was never contacted again after he was asked to come to the murder scene to help find a gun on March 6, 1981.
 
3     Dr. Roy’s testimony was in conflict with information I received in a letter from Chief Medical Examiner in July of 1981. Dr. Ryan wrote that “The body was badly charred and burned. ... The left arm was missing from the mid-point of the upper arm. No forearm or hand was recovered. The right arm and hand were burned severely but essentially intact. Parts of some fingers were missing from the body ... The left leg was complete to the knee ... The right leg was burned but present to four inches below the knee ... portions of the head were severely burned and absent ...The state of the remains being what they were, the possibility of other injuries is a difficult matter.
     On page 2 of Dr. Roy’s February 25, 1981 autopsy it states: “The back of the body is more severely charred and burnt with both pleural cavities exposed posteriorly and on the lateral aspect of the left side. This exposure continues down the diaphragm bilaterally. The back, sides and back half of the top of the skull is absent with severely burnt ends of bone noted at the sutures.”
     1) How could Roy say there was no trauma or no gunshot wounds when most of the head is missing?
      2) Percy Sargent told Mike’s brother Derry that Mike was shot and Cormier told Richard Sargent that Paul Pollard shot Mike with his .357 Smith & Wesson and it would make a hole the size of a grapefruit. With the back, sides, and half of the top of the skull absent.