February 21. 1988 conversation with Percy Sargent
 
I recorded the conversation which Percy suspected and said so during our conversation.
     “Percy, at one time you wrote me a letter.”
     “Yeah, the things that I can tell you will never really convict anybody ...”
     “Well ... I’d just like to be able to talk to you. You know, you were with Lionel and Paul when they went to Rhode Island . ...”
     “That’s right.”
     “... [When] you wrote to me you said Lionel picked Paul up right after the fire ..."
     “That might be true.”    
     “... [W]e know that Paul Pollard definitely needs to be looked at.”
     “But see what they’re looking for, Mrs. Cochran, is an eyewitness and I wasn’t an eyewitness to anything. So you know, all they ever have is speculation and that‘s all they could ever use anything for.”
     “Well Percy, that‘s not true. If you get the right person ... Richard, look what’s happening to him and you know the thing is as far as the public’s concerned they still look at him as though he’s a murderer and we know, you know yourself Paul Pollard was in that cabin with Micheal and he was the one that testified against you guys and he’s the person that needs to be looked at.”  
     “[W]hat they’re looking for, Mrs. Cochran, is an eyewitness, and I wasn’t an eyewitness to anything. So you know, all they ever have is speculation. ... The most important thing I can tell you Mrs. Cochran, is that Micheal is one of the best people I’ve ever met, you know, and I tried to help him and that’s because I was his friend and that’s the way you should be the happiest about.” 1   
     “Well, no, Percy. I shouldn’t be. You wouldn’t be happy that somebody was shot and then burned up. You know, seven years ago today [February 21, 1981] his body was still down there under that pile of rubble. You know, I can’t look at it and say I should be happy because that happened to him. ... [Pollard] walked away scot-free and I don’t think that there’s any justice in that.”
     “There’s no justice in anything anyway. You know, I was a person that tried to help your son ... and what I could tell you is nothing that hasn’t been written down or said over the last years of all this and, you know, there’s so much that everybody has said and what I can say -- I can’t -- I don’t even know of because I wasn’t there. I was in jail that night and for the days that followed that whole thing....”
     “Well, Lionel told Richard a lot though. He told him why Lionel took Paul out of state.”
     “Yeah see, well, that’s Dick’s view you see.”
     “Well, it’s not only his view it’s what Lionel told him.”
     “... Let me give you this for an example of what Lionel Cormier is like. Everything he says is a lie ...”
     “Yeah, but the thing is though, Percy, for them to put it on Richard ...”
     “Let’s say God killed Micheal. If you’re a Christian you may believe that .”
     “Yeah, I am a Christian, but I know God didn’t do that. Now come on Percy, listen to me. You know that God Almighty ---”
     “I could sit here and talk to you all day ma’am but I can’t —I don’t know who they were.”
     “But what I’m saying Percy, we know God didn’t kill Micheal. It was a man that killed Michael, two of them. [with Percy there were 3 of them}
    " Well, to me it makes more sense to understand that maybe the police are covering the whole thing up. Did you think about that? ... you really want to get into this ... you’ll have to go back to my drug arrest that night. Of what went on there. You know, this whole thing was built up after a major drug bust which the cops were looking for drugs and there were supposed to be drugs out there at Lucerne. ...
     "But if you look at that fact and see that there may be a real dirty person in here and done all this whoever ran that operation that night and did something real dirty. Because those cops that night, this is a stated fact in the testimony, is that when they arrested us that night they were looking for cocaine, right? ... This is all written down and, they didn’t wait for the coke bust to happen, see. They got the pot. They got started and they arrested us, ’cause I was supposed to go to another location and pick up the coke. So these people are saying, ‘well we got all kinds of stuff here. We’ve got money for this ounce of cocaine.’ Well, where’s the coke? Well, it was out to Lucerne.”  2
     I asked Percy if the DEA agents knew where he was living when they arrested him. And he said “Of course they did. They called me. The State Police called me. They knew I was living down in Lucerne. ... I didn’t know they were cops at the time, ma’am. See, it was all undercover. ... The thing about it all is the cops aren’t going to investigate anything, you know. They’re not going to investigate themselves if they did a stupid stunt like that, you know. ...”   3
     “... But the thing is, Percy, somebody broke the glass out of the door when they got there that night. The fire marshal can tell that. See, Micheal wasn’t in his bed. Micheal was by the door. Micheal had gotten to the door. I think Micheal was leaving. I think Micheal was shot in the head before he went out, before he fell.”
     “It’s probably one of them cops. They had their guns right out there, walking in that door. He came down [the stairs] there or something and all of a sudden they see this, they shot him and they burned her down and they did their dirty little stupid deed that night, you know, and they made a mistake,  4 and none of them wanted to pay for it, you know. ...  Here they are calling me at camp all day setting that bust up. They called me three times I believe.”
     I said, “I thought it was Percy Cote who called you?”
     “It was. But the cops were right with Percy Cote... Well, he could have had other charges and they could have just wanted him to set up [the drug deal] ... You want to quit thinking about if Lionel and Pollard did all this and you want to look more at the facts that actually happened out there, which was a stupid thing that the cops did and they’re not gonna ever own up to it. Unless you put the pressure right on them, you know. If everything I’ve told you is a lie or it could be the truth. ...   5
     “It was late when I came over the bridge. They had us out to, you know, that’s the time the bust went down, but we were there for a lot longer than that while they were searching the house and everything and they had guns up our nose and every other God damn thing for some little bit of pot, you know. There must have been thirty cops there that night. It was just amazing, you know ... If you can put them away, I hope you have a lot of power.”
     “But you think, I think Micheal died because of that drug bust.”
     “Oh yeah, I imagine so. ...it was a blunder for me to even be talking to this guy on the phone. ... But I had known him anyway from up north.”
     When I told Percy that Pollard was in the cabin and that he would have to know something. He said, “Who knows what he did. He’s the only one that knows. I don’t know because he never told me anything and Paul Pollard was a real quiet person to begin with. He hardly spoke and well, he was in the jail that four or five days right after the fire. ... I don’t know what Lionel knows. I don’t know what Pollard knows. ...
      "Those cops went out there and they did that just as sure as, you know, as sure as there’s gonna be another law next year they did that. ... going right out there and get that coke too, you know, and they squealed right out of there and went right out there and did a dirty thing and they’re not gonna ever, ever take credit for it because nobody’s ever gonna prosecute them unless you want to fight on for years and years and I can never get on the witness stand and say anything, because I’m just a nobody from a prison. I’m a dog eat dog that’s trying to get out and come home to my family, you know. ...
     " I tried to save your son from the same misery that I had for the last six years and I hope you take that into consideration about what’s spread in the newspapers about me because it makes me sick. ... They don’t write anything about me because I don’t have nothing to say. ... but if they don’t put that drug bust and that murder together they’re never gonna solve that crime. ... But I’m sure you’ll give it a good shot and I hope you success and everything.
     “Well, I hope we give it a shot that’s good enough to see that Richard Sargent is not guilty, they’ve tried to frame him in any way they can.”
     “My brother. I don’t know anything, you know. What can I say? I’m a guilty robber. I’ve pleaded guilty to robbery and I’m gonna do my time and get out of here, you know.”
     “Yeah.”
    “You know, I’ll never go to court. That’s the last place in the world I want. If I go to court that makes me the ugliest person in the world and I don’t want to be ugly. I just want to get out of jail, you know. Those people upset me a lot.6   If they never want to listen to the facts that I have to tell them, you know, because I’ll probably end up sitting in jail for another year for contempt of court or something because I am kind of an emotional kind of guy ... So, if you want to, you’re gonna have to arrest Christopher Almy, that DA agent that was in charge of that whole thing. 7      ... There was 20 or 30 of them out there. But I’m sure Fred [Clark, Director of DEA in 1981] and them took a little reconnaissance mission out there to get that cocaine or one of them cops probably did, you know. ...  8
     "I just hope you take into [account] my feelings too about this whole thing because 9 I loved your son and I’m in prison trying to, you know, just to get my time done and get it over with. To have my name dragged through that newspaper makes me sick, you know.” Percy sending a call to have my son murdered made me sick too! But I was too afraid of this dangerous man to confront him.

Mr. Erwin Cross, during a visit to my home in Bangor

 
A man by the name  Ervin Cross called my home after the arson/murder charges were dismissed against the three men.  He said that he had been watching the news about my son’s murder and had some information he wanted to give me. He said the morning of the fire—February 18, 1981—he was up during the early morning hours and was listening to his police scanner when he heard a woman say that there was a fire at Phillips Lake. He said he didn’t know where the call was sent, whether it was sent to the Brewer Police, Bangor Police, Maine State Police, or the Sheriff’s Department. But he heard a woman say that she had seen two men walking another man into the woods and then she had heard a gunshot. He said the person said, “Watch for a red Pinto heading for Brewer.”
     During the drug trials in June of 1981, one of the drug agents testified that when they met up with Percy Sargent before his arrest he was driving a red Pinto. The vehicle was impounded and on the 24th of February 1981 Pollard went to the Bangor PD to retrieve the Pinto. He was arrested at that time for forgery.
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1 Percy was trying to con me like he did Judge Ivan MacInnes. But I knew he was no friend of Mike’s. You don’t send a call to have your friend or the best people you ever met murdered.
     At this time, I had the statement Maine State Police Det. Pinkham took from an inmate at the county jail that said: “The night that Percy was arrested on drug charges and brought to the Penobscot County Jail that he overheard an inmate ... and Percy Sargent talking. Sargent had stated that he thought Micheal Cochran had set him up for the drug bust and he (Sargent) had already made the call out to have Cochran taken care of.”
     So I knew he was bs-ing me. Percy then tried another tactic when I wasn’t responding to him saying that he was a good friend of Mike’s and that he had tried to help him. He then said, “Let’s say God killed Micheal. If you’re a Christian you may believe that.”

2 Some of what Percy said could be verified by drug agent Joseph Harrington's testimony during the 1981 DEA drug trials. He said while working out the deal "Mr. Cote stated to myself that rock cocaine would be $3,000 for 1 ounce and the marijuana would be approximately $450 a pound.” He also testified that the DEA agents did not get the coke.
    Cote’s defense attorney, Charles E. Gilbert III, objected to the mention of the one ounce of rock cocaine because the agents only got the10 pounds of marijuana. There was nothing in Harrington’s testimony about the coke being out to Lucerne. But Jamison’s fire report states that when MSP Det. Ralph Pinkham and Bangor PD DEA Commander Fred Clark arrived on the murder scene (The day Mike was found in the six-day old fire rubble) they went to the little garage and started searching it. Fire Marshal Ricker told me they were searching for drugs. Why did they wait until Mike was found to look for the drugs?

3 I did believe, before talking with Percy, that Maine State Police Detectives Pinkham and Shuman should not have been the detectives on Mike’s murder since the Maine State Police were running the Maine DEA. According to a report in the BDN in 1986 it said that the dominance of the task force by the Maine State Police was compromising the potential effectiveness of the unit.”

4 It was Percy who made the mistake when he sent a call to have Mike taken care of and I think he knew it.

5 Percy had no reason to talk against Cormier and Pollard now because he was almost done serving his prison sentence. He wasn’t going to make waves for himself nor do anything to help me or his own brother.

6 I knew about him being ugly and upset, that’s why he sent the call to have Mike taken care of.

7  If there was a DEA in charge of “that whole thing” it would have been DA Cox. Almy was an Assistant DA at that time". DEA Director Fred Clark and DEA Agent Det. Pinkham did take a little reconnaissance mission out there to get that cocaine the morning Mike’s body was found.
8

Percy cared little about my son when he solicited his murder.