recorded conversations were recorded after Lionel Cormier, Percy
Sargent and Richard Sargent were arrested for two armed
robberies on Charles Dolan. They were recorded five months
before Richard's July 1986 trial and six months before Cormier's
August 1986 trial. Cormier was incarcerated at the Penobscot
County Jail while waiting for his trial and Richard was out on
bonds. The conversations concerned their up coming trials and
Mike's murder. The conversation happened five years after
Cormier and Paul Pollard killed Mike. Richard Sargent is a
brother to Percy Sargent who sent the call to have Mike "taken
care of." Shuman and Deputy AG Brannigan told me that Mike's
murder couldn't be solved because no one would talk. I believe
that the sheriff's department listened to these calls between
Richard Sargent and Cormier because Cormier was incarcerated at
the county jail when they occurred.
The first conversation begins with Richard reading from State
Fire Inspector Wilbur Ricker’s fire report, He says to Cormier
“That fire was not from natural causes. The fire was even all
around. No area disclosed heavy burn that would be evident had a
fire of some natural cause taken place ...” [Cormier finds this
funny and has a good laugh.]
Richard: Herrin saw a man
running, wiping his hands.
Cormier: He wasn’t wiping his
hands, he had his gun in his hands1
This info was verified during Cormier's August 1986 trial
when his Defense Attorney Martha Harris questioned Pollard:
"That's the same gun you had the night of Michael Cochran's
murder too, wasn't it?"
Pollard said, "I had it at the camp, yes."
"What kind of gun was that?"
"Smith and Wesson .357."
"Did you take it with you when you left the camp?"
Richard: Why did he [Pollard] end up in the State Hospital?
Cormier: He was depending on drugs and he flipped out, it was
causing him to have delusions. He was eating PCP and he flipped
Richard: How long after the fire did he go in the State
Cormier: One year later, 1982.
This info was verified by Pollard’s so called father when his
deposition was taken in August of 1989. Owen Pollard was the
director of Vocational Rehabilitation for the State of Maine.
Richard: Did he have
his gun on him when you picked him up?
Cormier: I went back and got
Richard: How was his frame of mind?
Cormier: ...A couple days after he was pretty flakey too. He
heard the pigs were after him and he ran into the woods behind
Cormier: Because he didn’t want to get busted by the pigs?
Richard: For what?
Cormier: For this murder thing. He didn’t want to talk to the
pigs. Spent a whole day out back of the house. I gave him a
walkie-talkie. Percy was at the house. Went outside, the State
Police were outside, talked to them for a while then they split,
then I went after Carla [Phair Cormier's girlfriend]. Paul was
still in the woods, I talked to him on a walkie-talkie, I told
him the pigs were here.
In a Feb. 12, 1985 statement Det.
Shuman took from Pollard in Massachusetts Pollard said, "The
next morning a trooper came to the house looking for us, Lionel
and Carla were there and I was in a back room. Lionel told the
trooper that I had moved. When Lionel told me about the trooper
looking for me I got scared.
Later a sheriff came to the house, I was home alone and let
him in and talked to him. [This was Penobscot County Sheriff
Glen Ross. Pollard gave a voluntay statement saying he fired 5
bullets into the Young residence in Old Town, Maine.] Lionel
later screamed and hollered at me for talking with the police.
Lionel was very upset. I went out behind the house and hid in
the woods. Percy came out later and we both stayed in the woods
until that night.
Richard: I think Paul probably shot him first.
Cormier: I wouldn’t doubt it.
Richard: Think they got in a fight or something.
Cormier: They had to. Cochran’s a lot bigger than Paul is.
Paul carries a gun on him all the time, he could have shot a
hole in him as big as a grapefruit ... Smith and Wesson, Model
29 .357. Had it until I took him to Rhode Island and never saw
Cormier’s info about the gun
never being seen again after Pollard fled the state is not true.
During Cormier's August 1986 trial Ms. Harris asked Pollard:
"Did you take your gun with
"No, I don't think so."
"Do you have any idea where you left it?"
"No, I don't remember."
"But you're sure that you had it about a month later when
you went over to Mr. Dolan's house [During the March 27, 1981
"Yes, I did have it then."
When Richard asks Cormier "Think Paul’s a hostile witness."
Cormier replies, "In order to make sure I gotta pay. I got
an inside tip on someone’s going to take care of him, [The same
as Percy Sargent's call from the Penobscot County Jail to have
Mike taken care of.] haven’t got all the things worked out on it
yet, but pretty sure, I think it will work. It’s on Paul. All
right. My girlfriend should call and tell me and I will be all
set." (Carla Phair, Cormier's girlfriend who alibied him.)
Richard: "What time did you pick Paul up?"
Cormier: "About 10:30 or about. I’m not worried about it.
The most they can do is arrest me for it, and we go to court.
[A phone bill of Cormier's shows that he called Richard Sargent
in Auburn at 8:13 AM the morning Mike was murdered and they
spoke for 31 minuets. Immediately after hanging up he received
the staged call from Pollard at 8:44 AM.] Go down and squeeze
Richard: Who? Paul. I don’t even know where he is.
Cormier: Well you could find him. I could give you the
information and you could find him.
Cormier: ...The reason they are keeping this so hush-hush,
the news messed it up so bad with you. ...
I [saw] in the paper
the other day Cochran’s fifth anniversary [February 18, 1986] of
being dead. I flipped out when I saw it. I though they were
doing it just to bust my balls but it’s his mother. ... So I
guess she’s still f****** hot on the f****** trail to find out
who killed him. Paul did it."
Richard: "How do you know?
Cormier: "Like he asked me a long time ago, if he ever wasted
somebody, you know, if he shot em, and what would be the best
way to get rid of all the evidence.I said you could cremate the
dude, you know, it must have stuck in his head."
Richard: Shuman is questioning him about the murder.
Cormier: Yeah, I know he has. ...What’s Shuman got a hair
across his s** over me about it. ... Well, he tried to stick you
with it. Couldn’t get you, now he’s trying to get me.
Richard: Think he’s [Paul] too sissified to have done it?
Cormier: You don’t have to be too heavy to pull a .357 out
and blow a hole in somebody, especially a 158 grade hollow
Richard: No s***. What would that do?
Cormier: Blow a hole the size of a grapefruit....
Richard: Paul’s going to say you did it. Paul’s going to say
you was the main man. There was gas down there?
Cormier: Gas down there on the other side. Fatso [Percy Sargent]
and Paul had put there. grabs a gun and comes out and wastes him
[A man by the name of Cross called me and said he heard a woman
on his police scanner say she saw two men walking one man and
then a gun shot.] Flips out that he did it, goes out gets the
gas, comes in burns the place down, then splits, waits until the
place is burned so bad before he leaves [the position of Mike's
body by the door is like he was dumped inside the cottage].
...You know something about that fire? Is Paul’s timing... Yeah,
see he called me up right after Carla left at 7 o’clock [8:44
AM]. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, that puts him there right
after the fire. The fire went down at 4 o’clock had to wait
around to o’clock.
Richard: ...he might have killed Cochran
Cormier: I know he did. He probably shot the f****** fool,
then burned the place down, get rid of all the physical evidence
he couldn’t get his hands on [?]. ... So the fire ... by the
time they [Fire Department] got there ... probably started about
half hour before...
Richard: It was really going strong?
Cormier: Oh yeah, it was out of control. ...Five years ago
today I took him to Rhode Island, you know who was with me?
Percy. You know whose car I took? Bob Smith’s
Cormier is wrong about the
date he, Pollard and Percy Sargent fled the State of Maine.
Percy wasn’t bailed from the county jail until the 21st of
February. And I believe it was after Fire Inspector Ricker
surprised Percy and Cormier at the arson/murder scene on the
24th and Pollard was arrested for forgery at the Bangor PD that
the three fled the state.
Richard: Why did he go down there?
Cormier: Because he was paranoid. He didn’t want to go to
jail for murder.
Richard: So, that fire was going that much at that time, he
had all the time in the world to take off. Why did he want to
see it ...see if it really went up?
Cormier: Make sure the crime was complete. ... The reason he
said he woke up the timbers were crashing. All right, the place
was burning down like that, you’re going to be putting your
clothes on? He claimed he couldn’t even sit up because the smoke
was so intense. Think about ... had his gun though. He’s guilty,
who else could have done it?
Richard: Well, might be looking for a scapegoat.
Cormier: Well, I am not going down for a f****** murder wrap,
Dick. Murder-arson, that’s a f****** 50 years, plus I got ... I
am looking at another ... I’ll get a hundred years for this...
Richard: You know and all they’ve got is Paul, right, and
he’s not too good ... trustworthy. ...But, if he’s saying that
you did it.
Cormier: That makes it ...I know, viable. Could be true. ...I
got Carla Phair, man, I was in bed with the bitch. ...I was in
bed, she got ready to leave at six o’clock, she left at six
o’clock, so if I got there, set the fire and come back. That’s
impossible, no way, I couldn’t do it. Listen, there is no way I
could do it, EVEN IF I DID DO IT there’s no way I could leave the
house, drive there, come back without her knowing it. Give me a
Richard: "People can put Paul there at the fire.
Cormier: Oh, I know, we can put him there, you and your
mother and your sister heard him say he was there.
Richard: He knew then Cochran had gone up in smoke.
Cormier: F****** right he knew.
Richard: So, that morning that I was there, right, Paul said
that Cochran had got burned to death in the fire.
At Richard's July 1986 trial
Richard told me that Cormier and Pollard was at his mother's
house a few hours after they murdered Mike. Richard said that
Cormier told him, his sister and mother about the fire and that
Mike’s body would be found in the fire. But in his conversation
with Cormier he agrees with Cormier that it was Pollard who said
it. For some reason he doesn’t confront Cormier about it.
Cormier: Well, I’ll tell you what, it’s not over until the
fat lady sings, I am telling you, if he gets ...I want immunity
to testify against that f****** punk, you know. I’ll put him in
f****** ... I’ll put him in f****** State Prison for twenty five
... I’ll think nothing of it.
Richard: "But wait a minute now, how come he hasn’t been
indicted, right, the evidence is there to indict him...
Cormier: ...I don’t know what to say, just wanted to fill you
in on what’s happening, not much to say except f****** Paul is
the one that’s going to try hang me.
Richard: What’s he going to hang you for?
Cormier: Twenty-five, forty, fifty years. ...Well, he’s a
Richard: Then how come they haven’t indicted you for murder
Cormier: I don’t know, they are waiting. ...If they can’t
convict me on this murder, I mean this robbery thing they will
get me for the murder thing.
Richard: You think Paul’s going to say he called ya ... you
Cormier: "I don’t know he might. ...Dick, I would spend the
rest of my life...I would spend literally the rest of my life to
hunt him down.
Richard: You think he’s going to go with that story?
Cormier: ...did you try ...did you call Lionel up? Did you
come over? Did he set the fire? ...Yeah, well they didn’t say
that on him... they said that to Carla? Yeah, she told me. She
wanted to know what I... I had anything to do with it and I said
nothing. Then, she says, well, ...that I know for sure you
stayed in bed with me that night or did you get up, go over
there and set that fire and come back.
Richard: That leaves Paul at the scene of the crime....
Cormier: We know more about this thing than anybody else.
Seems, we definitely know more about it than the pigs.
Richard: I don’t know, I think they’re on to something now,
Cormier: What can I say, every man for himself here, right.
Going to have to turn state evidence against him. Now how is he
going to say, he’s ...little a** hole unless, Shuman, you know,
Shuman, he’d do anything to bust us on this one. ...You know
that more than I ...he stepped over the line to try and bust you
Really, you know, intimidating witnesses, bribery.
Tampering with witnesses.
Cormier: Now you tell me he’s not in on it.
I wonder what Cormier means by his
statement of Shuman being in on it? I know there was certainly
something wrong with Shuman's investigation of Mike's murder. He
worked hard to try cover it up. He was in DA David Cox's office
when he threatened me with charges saying I knew Mike's
whereabout and not turning him in. Mike tried to turn himself in
but Cox rejected that.
Richard: So you think Paul’s going to do it?
Cormier: He’s going to spill his guts, that’s what my lawyer
says. ... now if he spills his guts that means everything.
Murder, robberies, everything.
Richard: How else can he get around that murder except for
putting it on you?
Cormier: Can’t blame it on Cochran. He’s the f******
simpleton that got wasted.
Richard: ...that next morning ...we was talking there...come
out there, Cochran had gone up in the fire. So Paul knew he had
gone up in the fire.
Cormier: Right, that’s right, he told all of us Cochran was
in there. See, your mother and Linda, you and me and him was in
the kitchen, in the trailer.
Richard: Yea, and he knew that morning that Cochran had gone
up in the fire, he knew it.